Fans pay tribute to author Philip Roth who has died at 85
Literature fans around the world have been paying tribute to American author Philip Roth, who died in Manhattan at the age of 85.
The author, who was born in New Jersey in 1933, is best known for works such as The Human Stain, I Married a Communist, and Goodbye, Columbus. His work frequently followed the themes of Jewish life, sex, and the corruption of the American dream.
Having first made his mark on the international literary scene with the sexually explicit novel Portnoy's Complaint in 1969, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel American Pastoral in 1997, an award later followed by the Man Booker International Prize.
Among those who took to Twitter to share their memories of and fondness for Roth were figures from the world of art and the media, including Hollywood producer Michael Green, who summed up the power of his legacy with the words: "We all wanted to be Philip Roth. None of us came close."
Many spoke of Roth as being the last of a generation of writers, and spoke of their sadness of losing two literary legends - Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth - within the space of just over a week:
Comedian David Baddiel described Roth as "laugh out loud, stand-up funny", while fellow author David Simon also praised his humour, saying: "Improbably, I had the honor of meeting Philip Roth just a few months ago to discuss an adaptation of Plot Against America. At 85, he was more precise and insightful, more intellectually adept and downright witty than most any person of any age. What a marvelous, rigorous mind."
Many also praised Roth's visionary social commentary, citing his 2004 novel The Plot Against America, which presents an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated in the 1940 presidential election by anti-Semite celebrity Charles Lindbergh. Unsurprisingly, the parallels to today's America headed by a deeply controversial reality-TV star turned politician, did not go unnoticed.
In his own lifetime, the author was scathing of the POTUS, commenting in a January 2018 interview with the New York Times: "Charles Lindbergh, in life as in my novel, may have been a genuine racist and an anti-Semite and a white supremacist sympathetic to Fascism, but he was also — because of the extraordinary feat of his solo trans-Atlantic flight at the age of 25 — an authentic American hero", adding that "Trump, by comparison, is a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac."