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Watch: Philip Roth wins International Man Booker Prize

One of the award’s judges wasn’t pleased with the final decision, though. Carmen Callil resigned when she heard that the American author was being given the £60,000 literary prize.

Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Updated at 13:00

THE AMERICAN author Philip Roth has been declared the winner of the Man Booker International Prize at the Sydney Writers’ Festival today.

Roth was selected from among 13 nominees for the £60,000 (€68,200) prize which is only awarded once every two years. The prize is open to authors who either publish originally in English or whose work is widely available in English, according to the award’s organisers.

One of the three judges did not agree with the panel’s decision, though, and resigned after she found out that the prize was being awarded to Roth. The Guardian reports that Carmen Callil, an author and publisher, said she thinks Roth covers the “same subject in almost every single book. It’s as though he’s sitting on your face and you can’t breathe”.

Chair of the judging panel, Rick Gekoski, said three was “a very dangerous number” and that two of the judges had felt particularly strongly about who should win.

After the nominees were announced earlier this year, British author John le Carré controversially called for his name to be withdrawn. His literary agents issued a statement on his behalf saying he does “not compete for literary prizes”.

However, his name remained on the judge’s list of contenders for the prize. Gekoski said le Carré would still be considered “because we are great admirers of his work”.

Upon winning the prize today, Roth said one of his greatest pleasures as an author was having his books translated and published internationally.

Watch: Philip Roth’s acceptance speech on winning “this esteemed prize”:

Read: The Telegraph has compiled some of Roth’s most memorable quotes >

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