Philip Roth once explained the 'most terrifying' thing about Trump

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Philip Roth, one of the most celebrated authors of the 20th century, has died at the age of 85.

Two novels followed, but it was the third - "Portnoy's Complaint" - that brought fame with its comic description of the sexual problems facing a young middle-class Jewish New Yorker burdened with a domineering and possessive mother.

The New York Times reports the cause of death was congestive heart failure, according to a close friend. But he received virtually every other literary honor, including two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle prizes and, in 1998, the Pulitzer for "American Pastoral".

The decorated author won most top literary honours, but the coveted Nobel Literature Prize eluded him.

Roth was regarded as a fierce satirist and uncompromising realist, confronting readers in a bold, direct style that scorned false sentiment or hopes for heavenly reward.

Roth was born in Newark, N.J. and attended Rutgers University and later transferred to Bucknell University.

Roth won virtually every literary honor including the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral
Roth won virtually every literary honor including the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral

Although his novels often explored the Jewish experience in America, Roth, who said he was an atheist, rejected being labeled a Jewish-American writer.

The book's narrator and frequent Roth alter ego Nathan Zuckerman tells the story of his former high-school classmate, Swede, whose suburban life is destroyed when his daughter becomes involved with a domestic terrorist group.

In this March 24, 1960 file photo, the three winners of the National Book Award, Robert Lowell, from left, awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry, Richard Ellmann, victor in the non-fiction category, and Philip Roth, recipient of the award in the fiction category for his book 'Goodbye, Columbus, ' pose at the Astor Hotel in New York City. He famously offered one writer who had just published his first book this advice, as chronicled in The Paris Review: "I would quit while you're ahead". The son of an insurance salesman, Roth earned a bachelor's degree at Buckle University and a master's degree in English from the University of Chicago.

Philip announced in 2012 that Nemesis would be his last novel. Surely he wasn't regretful: While living on Manhattan's Upper West Side, he spent his retirement reading voraciously (mostly nonfiction), going to concerts, and spending time with friends.

Roth's personal life was dragged into the spotlight following his messy breakup with British actress Claire Bloom, who painted a grim picture of life with her ex-husband in her 1996 memoir "Leaving a Doll's House". "That epit makes no sense to me", he said. I began to read in my second year. "I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life". The movie was later adapted into a feature film in 2016 directed and starring Ewan McGregor.

She said: "He was an incredibly generous person". He married Margaret Martinson Williams. She ultimately died five years later in a auto crash.

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