All 7 Philip Roth Movies Ranked, From 'American Pastoral' to 'Goodbye, Columbus'

26 May, 2018, 10:55 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel
  • Pulitizer Prize and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth has died according to multiple reports. He's shown in this 2013 file

Philip Roth, whose raucous, playful, elegant and often outrageous novels about Jewish life and sex and death and betrayal made him one of the country's greatest novelists, has died at age 85. Zuckerman later reappears in The Counterlife (1986), where he seems to die of a heart attack and is resurrected afterwards. When Roth won the Man Booker International Prize, in 2011, a judge resigned, alleging that the author suffered from terminal solipsism and went "on and on and on about the same subject in nearly every single book". Roth was known for work that was amusing, often gross, and deeply connected to his Jewish roots.

In addition to American Pastoral, a host of Roth's novels were adapted into films: Portnoy's Complaint starring Richard Benjamin, Karen Black and Lee Grant in 1972; The Human Stain starring Nicole Kidman and Anthony Hopkins in 2003; Elegy starring Penelope Cruz and Ben Kingsley in 2008; The Humbling starring Al Pacino in 2014; and Indignation in 2016.

The writer was born on March 19, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey.

During a particularly fruitful period in his 60s, Roth returned to a number of those themes.

Roth's 1998 novel "I Married a Communist" is told against the backdrop of McCarthyism.

In a moment, William Brangham talks with a colleague and collaborator of Roth's. Roth spent much time defending himself at various Jewish institutions in the years after the essay's publication, according to the New York Review of Books.

Here are some excerpts.

Roth has written an array of highly acclaimed books in his lifetime till 2012, after which he announced his retirement.

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In a January 2017 interview with The New Yorker, Roth described Trump as "just a con artist" while comparing him with the leading character Charles Lindbergh in his 2004 novel "The Plot Against America".

"You can't invent out of nothing, or I can't certainly", he said in a 2011 documentary.

Roth, however, often demurred when it was suggested that he should be defined as an American Jewish writer.

"We all wanted to be Philip Roth".

A prolific writer, Roth was the author of dozens of novels including Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral and Goodbye, Columbus. Zuckerman's resemblance to the author prompted some speculation that these books were semi-autobiographical, though Roth swatted away those assertions when asked.

"Roth's coarsest, frankest, and most exhilarating novel, Sabbath's Theater shows off Roth's linguistic verve, his brilliant characterisation, and his unparalleled ability to stare unblinkingly into the psyche of a depraved scoundrel", says Read It Forward, a website dedicated to all things literary. He was only the third writer-after Eudora Welty and Bellow-to have his volumes preserved by the Library of America while still alive. A memorial is being planned in NY, possibly in September, his biographer Blake Bailey said.

Roth said the act of writing for him is "filled with fear and loneliness and anxiety". "I no longer feel this dedication to write what I have experienced my whole life".

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