US novelist Philip Roth wins Man Booker International Prize

Roth, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was among the 13 finalists, who included Canada-based writer of Indian origin Rohinton Mistry.

The Man Booker International Prize, which honors a writer's body of work, is distinct from the annual Man Booker Prize for fiction, which is awarded for a single book.

Roth's body of work spans nearly half-a-century. The 78-year-old writer had earlier won the National Book Award, a statement by the Man Booker International Prize said.

For more than 50 years, Roth's books have stimulated, provoked and amused an enormous and still expanding audience, Rick Gekoski, the chair of the judging panel, said.

"His career is remarkable in that he starts at such a high level, and keeps getting better. In his 50s and 60s, when most novelists are in decline, he wrote a string of novels of the highest, enduring quality," Gekoski said.

Roth, in a video message, said he was honoured.

He said one of the particular pleasures he has had as a writer was to have his work read internationally despite all the "heartaches of translations that it entails".

In 1969, he became a celebrity with "Portnoy's Complaint", the humorous and sexually explicit acount of a "lust-ridden, mother-addicted Jewish bachelor".

He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel "American Pastoral".

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