Philip Roth is a true great with range and chutzpah


I am saddened, of course, to hear that Philip Roth does not intend to write any more fiction.

The arc of his creative life, from the assured debut of Goodbye Columbus (1959) to the tragic power of Nemesis (2010), is one of extraordinary range and imaginative chutzpah. He has chronicled American life over six decades, and written with assurance and depth about the nature and the role of the novelist.

He has said that, having read through his works, he has nothing more to say in fiction, but that he consoles himself  with the thought that he has done the best he could. That is certainly more than enough for me, and for all of us. He has been a great novelist, and is entitled to a rest. But Roth is only 78, and I am certain that he still has a lot to say. I cannot imagine that he will not pick up his pen again.

The writer is a former Man Booker Prize judge