SYDNEY, Australia - Philip Roth, the American author of the 1960s cultural touchstone
and more than two dozen other novels, was named Wednesday as the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for fiction.
The $100,000 prize adds another accolade to Roth's five-decade career that includes a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and shows little sign of slowing.
The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living writer for overall contribution to fiction. It is connected to, but separate from, the better-known Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which is awarded each year for a specific book.
Roth said he was delighted to win the prize, which he called a great honor.
"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," Roth said in a statement. "I hope the prize will bring me to the attention of readers around the world who are not familiar with my work."
Roth beat 12 other short-listed authors, including Britain's John le Carre, Australia's David Malouf and Indian-born Canadian Rohinton Mistry.
The winner was announced at the Sydney Writers' Festival.
"For more than 50 years Philip Roth's books have stimulated, provoked, and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience," said Rick Gekoski, chairman of the three-member judges panel.
"His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally," he said.
The prize will be officially presented at a dinner in London in June.
Roth came to prominence with his 1959 first novel, Goodbye, Columbus, and has been prolific ever since. Portnoy's Complaint, a biting satire describing a New York Jewish man's relationships with his parents, shocked many with its full-frontal depictions of masturbation and sexual antics.
The book made him a celebrity, a condition he explored in later novels.