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Philip Milton Roth was one of America's leading contemporary novelists and short story writers. He was considered to have an acute ear for dialogue, with a primary concern of his work being Jewish middle-class life and the painful entanglements of sexual and familial love.

Early work, Letting Go and When she was Good did not find the audience, controversy and acclaim that his 1969 work Portnoy's Complaint received. Portnoy's Complaint was initially banned in Australia. 

In the appraisal by Dwight Gardner in the The New York Times, he is acclaimed as a "born spellbinder" whose death 'in its way, [marks] the end of a cultural era as definitively as the death of Pablo Picasso did in 1973.

'Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness are my closest friends'  Philip Roth