Philip Roth has retired, he says


Is Philip Roth really finished? That’s what the novelist told the French magazine Les InRocks in October.

What he said was, “Pour tout vous avouer, j’en ai fini. Némésis sera mon dernier livre.” OK, he didn’t say that -- that’s the French translation. The English version would be something like “To tell you the truth, I’m done. ‘Nemesis’ will be my last book.”

Salon contacted Roth’s American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “He said it was true,” Lori Glazer, vice president and executive director of publicity, told the site.


Roth has twice been awarded the National Book Award and once won the Pulitzer Prize for his fiction. He has written more than two dozen books; “Nemesis” was published in 2010.

At the time, he told The Times’ David L. Ulin, “for me, writing is a performance. ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ was a performance.”

Roth is the author of a number of indelible works of 20th century American fiction: “Goodbye, Columbus” (1959), “Portnoy’s Complaint” (1969), the collection “Zuckerman Bound” (1985), and “The Human Stain” (2000).

“Nemesis” met with mixed reviews; some critics wondered if Roth’s best writing years were behind him. The author, now 78, seems to be wondering the same thing. Other excerpts from his interview with Les InRocks show him saying, “I did the best I could with what I had,” and “I decided that I was done with fiction.”

Goodbye, Roth?


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