New York — Grand man of American letters Philip Roth, a fierce and prolific talent who achieved fame with the sexually explicit Portnoy’s Complaint in 1969, has died at the age of 85. Roth’s literary agent, Andrew Wylie, told US media that the writer died on Tuesday of congestive heart failure. The New Yorker magazine and the New York Times had both reported the death of Roth, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his acclaimed novel American Pastoral. Roth, who lived in New York and Connecticut, was best known for mining the Jewish-American experience in his more than 30 novels. Roth said he reached a turning point when he realised he could use his own world as literary raw material, be it his upbringing or the setting of his New Jersey home town. "You can’t invent out of nothing, or I can’t certainly," he said in a 2011 documentary. "I need some reality, to rub two sticks of reality together to get a fire of reality." But Roth’s giant stature on the post-Second World War...

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