Monday, April 02, 2007

Philip Roth wins 1st ever Bellow prize
By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
Sun Apr 1, 5:02 PM ET

Literary awards are old news for Philip Roth, but his latest honor is truly special: The first ever PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, a $40,000 prize named for the late Nobel laureate and one of Roth's closest friends and literary heroes.

"To my mind, Saul Bellow and William Faulkner form the backbone of 20th-century American literature," Roth said in a statement given to The Associated Press.

"The initial selection of Philip Roth sets a very high standard and bodes well for the establishment of this prize as one of the pre-eminent awards of American literature," historian and recent PEN American president Ron Chernow said in a statement issued by the U.S. center for the international writers organization.

The Bellow prize, to be officially announced Monday, was conceived during Chernow's time as PEN president, a one-year term that ended in March. He declined to seek re-election, citing personal reasons, and has been succeeded by author Francine Prose.

The 74-year-old Roth, known for such novels as "Portnoy's Complaint" and "American Pastoral," has won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle prize. He recently became the first three-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner prize, chosen for "Everyman," a novel about illness and mortality inspired in part by the death of Bellow, in April 2005.

Read this article in its entirety: Philip Roth wins 1st ever Bellow prize - Yahoo! News

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