Author Philip Roth retiring: ‘I’m done’

By Daniel S Levine,

American author Philip Roth has said in a new interview that he is retiring from writing.

In an interview with the French publication Les inRocks that was published last month, the 78-year-old stated, “To tell you the truth, I’m done...Nemesis will be my last book.”

Salon first reported on Roth’s announcement Friday, noting that English language media had not picked up on the interview. The site later spoke with Lori Glazer, the vice president and executive director of publicity for his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, and confirmed that Roth is retiring.

“He said it was true,” Glazer said.

In the interview, Roth said that when he reached 74, he decided to re-read all of his novels in reverse chronological order. “I wanted to see if I had wasted my time writing,” he said. “And I thought it was rather successful. At the end of his life, the boxer Joe Louis said: ‘I did the best I could with what I had.’ This is exactly what I would say of my work: I did the best I could with what I had.”

Roth continued, “And after that, I decided that I was done with fiction. I do not want to read, to write more...I have dedicated my life to the novel: I studied, I taught, I wrote and I read. With the exclusion of almost everything else. Enough is enough! I no longer feel this fanaticism to write that I have experienced in my life.”

According to The Huffington Post, Roth has won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Humanities Medal and two National Book Awards. Just this year, the Spanish royal family presented him with the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.

Roth’s Nemesis was published in 2010.

Roth made headlines back in September when he made a public request to have a Wikipedia page changed to properly reflect the influences on his book The Human Stain.



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