Pulitzer-prize winner Philip Roth died at the age of 85 on Wednesday, The New York Times reported quoting his friends. Roth was known for his novel American Pastoral, which won him the prestigious award. He also received the Man Booker International Prize in 2011.

Roth wrote on the themes of “the Jewish family, sex, American ideals, the betrayal of American ideals, political zealotry, personal identity,” and “the human body [usually male] in its strength, its frailty, and its often ridiculous need”, the report said quoting a 2006 article by Claudia Roth Pierpont.

Roth’s first story, The Kind of Person I Am, was published in the The New Yorker in 1958. His story, Defender of the Faith, drew criticism from rabbis and the Anti-Defamation League.

Roth wrote over 30 books, including the 1991 memoir Patrimony that focused on his complex relationship with his father.

In 2014 he told the BBC that we would no longer be available for public appearances. “I can guarantee you that this is my last appearance ever on television... absolutely [my] last appearance on any stage anywhere,” BBC quoted him as having said.