Roth's rift with Booker judges fails to reach a happy ending

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The Independent Culture

Rarely has a relationship between prize-winner and receiver been as fraught as the one between Philip Roth and the judges of the Man Booker International award.

After one of the three judges on the panel resigned last month in protest over Mr Roth being award the prestigious prize, another judge on the panel last night admitted how the author's novels make him want to pour a bucket of cold water over his head.

Rick Gekoski, a writer and book dealer who chaired the prize-giving panel, said of Roth's work: "I can recall few of his novels that don't provoke an occasional but overwhelming desire to shout, 'Will you shut up!' At a character or his author."

Mr Gekoski did concede that Mr Roth's latest novel Nemesis was a "masterpiece".

Mr Roth did not travel to London to accept his £60,000 prize – which recognises a novelist's overall contribution to literature – with the award instead being accepted by the writer and academic Hermione Lee.