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Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

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By the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died.

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortality, has died at age 85, his literary agent said Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

FILE – In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortality, has died at age 85, his literary agent said Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The celebrated and controversial author of “Portnoy’s Complaint,” ”The Counterlife” and other novels was 85. His death was confirmed by his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for “American Pastoral.”

Author of more than 25 books, Roth was a fierce satirist and uncompromising realist, confronting readers in a bold, direct style that scorned false sentiment or hopes for heavenly reward. He was an atheist who swore allegiance to earthly imagination, whether devising pornographic functions for raw liver or indulging romantic fantasies about Anne Frank.

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