PHILIP Roth has won the fourth Man Booker International Prize, chosen from a list of 13 eminent contenders including, for the first time, two Chinese novelists.
The Man Booker International Prize, worth £60,000 (AUD91,000 approx), is different from the annual Man Booker Prize in that it highlights one writer's continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.
The prize is presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or widely available in translation in the English language. Previous winners are Ismail Kadaré in 2005, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Alice Munro in 2009.
Philip Roth is a literary giant and one of the world's most prolific, celebrated - and controversial - writers.
When asked to name a living American who inspired him, Bruce Springsteen chose Roth.
"Making work that is so strong, so full of revelations about love and emotional pain, that's the way to live your artistic life. Sustain, sustain, sustain," Springsteen said.
Born in March 1933 in New Jersey, Roth is best known for his 1969 novel Portnoy's Complaint, and for his late-1990s trilogy comprising the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998), and The Human Stain (2000).
Roth is the most decorated living American writer. He won the National Book Award at 26 for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus in 1960, and since then has claimed National Book Critics Circle awards, three PEN/Faulkner awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and a gold medal for fiction by The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In response to the award, Roth said: "One of the particular pleasures I've had as a writer is to have my work read internationally despite all the heartaches of translation that that entails. I hope the prize will bring me to the attention of readers around the world who are not familiar with my work."
Philip Roth lives in Connecticut, USA. His most recent book, Nemesis, was published in 2010.
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