Philip Roth


Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He first gained attention with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of American-Jewish life for which he received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction.

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1933 Birth Born on March 19, 1933.
1940 7 Years Old In The Plot Against America (2004), Roth imagines an alternative American history in which Charles Lindbergh, aviator hero and isolationist, is elected U.S. president in 1940, and the U.S. negotiates an understanding with Hitler's Nazi Germany and embarks on its own program of anti-Semitism. … Read More


1950 17 Years Old …  He graduated from Newark's Weequahic High School in or around 1950. "It has provided the focus for the fiction of Philip Roth, the novelist who evokes his era at Weequahic High School in the highly acclaimed Portnoy's Complaint. … Read More


1955 22 Years Old He pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he received an M.A. in English literature in 1955 and worked briefly as an instructor in the university's writing program. … Read More
1956 23 Years Old While at Chicago, Roth met the novelist Saul Bellow, as well as Margaret Martinson in 1956, who became his first wife in 1959. … Read More
1959 26 Years Old Between the end of his studies and the publication of his first book in 1959, Roth served two years in the United States Army and then wrote short fiction and criticism for various magazines, including movie reviews for The New Republic. … Read More
1960 27 Years Old Roth's first book, Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories, won the National Book Award in 1960, and afterwards he published two novels, Letting Go and When She Was Good. … Read More


1963 30 Years Old …  In response, Roth, in his 1963 essay "Writing About Jews" (collected in Reading Myself and Others), maintained that he wanted to explore the conflict between the call to Jewish solidarity and his desire to be free to question the values and morals of middle-class Jewish Americans uncertain of their identities in an era of cultural assimilation and upward social mobility: … Read More
1969 36 Years Old …  His profile rose significantly in 1969 after the publication of the controversial Portnoy's Complaint, the humorous and sexually explicit psychoanalytical monologue of "a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor," filled with "intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language."


1990 57 Years Old In 1990, Roth married his long-time companion, English actress Claire Bloom. In 1994 they separated, and in 1996 Bloom published a memoir, Leaving a Doll's House, which described the couple's marriage in detail, much of which was unflattering to Roth. … Read More


1997 - 2005 4 More Events
2006 73 Years Old In May 2006, he was given the PEN/Nabokov Award, and in 2007 he was awarded the PEN/Faulkner award for Everyman, making him the award's only three-time winner.
2007 74 Years Old In April 2007, he was chosen as the recipient of the first PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. … Read More
2009 76 Years Old In 2009, he was awarded the Welt-Literaturpreis of the German newspaper Die Welt. Roth was awarded the 42nd Edward MacDowell Medal by the MacDowell Colony in 2001. Roth was awarded the 2010 National Humanities Medal by U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House on March 2, 2011. … Read More
2012 79 Years Old …  In 2012 he received the Prince of Asturias Award for literature.
2013 80 Years Old On March 19, 2013, Roth's 80th birthday was celebrated in public ceremonies at the Newark Museum. … Read More
2014 81 Years Old In 2014, filmmaker Alex Ross Perry made Listen Up Philip, which was influenced by Roth's art. … Read More
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