Philip Roth Is Retiring

Philip Roth.

Philip Roth has announced that he’s quitting both reading and writing. The news comes from an interview with French publication Les Inrocks that was translated by Salon. Houghton Mifflin, Mr. Roth’s publisher, confirmed the news with the writer today.

Here’s what Mr. Roth, 79, had to say:

“To tell you the truth, I’m done … Nemesis [from 2010] will be my last book.”

He continued, saying that in recent years he reread his body of work in reverse chronological order and concluded, “At the end of his life, the boxer Joe Louis said: ‘I did the best I could with what I had.’ This is exactly what I would say of my work: I did the best I could with what I had.”

(We might add that that’s kind of an understatement.)

Maybe this is a retirement in the Jay-Z sense of the word, and Mr. Roth will return in a few years with another book, but it sort of doesn’t look that way.

“I do not want to read, to write anymore. Enough is enough!” he said.

Philip Roth Is Retiring