Philip Roth, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of the 1960s cultural touchstone Portnoy's Complaint and more than two dozen other novels, was named today as the winner of the Man Booker International Prize for fiction. Roth beat 12 other short-listed authors—including Britain's John le Carre, Australia's David Malouf, and Indian-born Canadian Rohinton Mistry—for the $100,000 prize. "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." One member of the three-person judging panel likely disagrees. Carmen Callil withdrew from the panel in protest of the selection of Roth as winner, saying, "He goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It's as though he's sitting on your face and you can't breathe. Emperor's clothes: in 20 years' time will anyone read him?" The panel's chair acknowledges that the decision was made amid a "considerable amount of argument," reports the Telegraph. The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to a living writer for overall contribution to fiction; the better-known Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded each year for a specific book.