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Bellow Prize to Roth

If you think that Philip Roth has been winning a literary prize every other day, you’re not alone. Now add the first inaugural 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 the list of accolades awarded to the 74-year-old Roth.

“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.

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