Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Philip Roth Wins Man Booker International Prize, $97,600

Philip Roth
Author Philip Roth. Ladbrokes gives him 16-1 odds to win the Nobel Prize this year. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

May 18 (Bloomberg) -- American novelist Philip Roth won the Man Booker International Prize, defeating 12 other finalists for the literary award of 60,000 pounds ($97,600).

First bestowed on Albanian writer Ismail Kadare in 2005, Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to recognize a living author’s achievement in fiction and literary excellence.

A judging panel led by Rick Gekoski honored Roth in a news conference at the Sydney Opera House during the Sydney Writers’ Festival in Australia, the contest organizers said in an e-mailed statement.

“For more than 50 years Philip Roth’s books have stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience,” Gekoski said in the release. “His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally.”

One of the three judges, Australian author Carmen Callil, later voiced criticism of the decision, telling the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper that Roth “goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book.” The founder of London feminist publisher Virago Press, Callil said she withdrew from the panel after telling fellow juror and novelist Justin Cartwright that she thought “I should give in,” the Guardian reported.

‘Goodbye, Columbus’

Born in 1933, Roth scooped up the National Book Award for Fiction with his first published work, “Goodbye, Columbus.” He went on to score bestselling notoriety in 1969 with “Portnoy’s Complaint.” In 1979, he introduced his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, in “The Ghost Writer,” the first in a series of autobiographical novels. He won the Pulitzer in 1998 for “American Pastoral.”

Roth was selected from a list of prominent authors who included John le Carre, Philip Pullman and Marilynne Robinson. The other finalists were Juan Goytisolo of Spain; James Kelman of Scotland; Amin Maalouf of Lebanon; David Malouf of Australia; Dacia Maraini of Italy; Rohinton Mistry, an Indian-born Canadian author; Su Tong and Wang Anyi of China; and Anne Tyler of the U.S.

Callil’s comments about Roth marked the second controversy in the contest since the finalists were announced in March. At the time, le Carre asked to be removed from the competition, saying he doesn’t compete for literary awards. Gekoski, the judging panel chairman, said his name would remain on the list.

Roth’s prize will be celebrated at a formal dinner in London on June 28 2011. The contest is sponsored by hedge-fund manager Man Group Plc, which also funds the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Pressley in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.