Novelist Philip Roth Dead at 85

Legendary writer Philip Roth has passed away at the age of 85, according to friends cited by The New Yorker. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint, and The Plot Against America was one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation, with dozens of novels under his belt, as well as a large body of essays and criticism. In his last interview before retiring from public life in 2014, Roth quoted one of his own characters to explain his dedication to the craft of writing. “I believe that we should read only those books that bite and sting us. If a book we’re reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it,” he told the BBC. He also said, “I’ll do my best to stay alive ’til 2020, but don’t push me.”