Jewish-American author Philip Roth received France’s highest honor Friday, the Legion d’honneur, at a ceremony in New York City.
In town for the United Nations General Assembly, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius presented Roth with the award, inducting him into France’s Legion of Honor, while praising the writer’s “huge success” in France.
“This highest honor is a wonderful surprise,” Roth said. Then, speaking in French, he said that he was “absolutely delighted,” AFP reported.
Since coming to the public’s attention in 1959 with his debut. “Goodbye, Columbus,” published when he was only 26-years-old, Roth has churned out close to thirty novels, including the smash hit “Portnoy’s Complaint.” He’s received nearly every major American literary award and is often cited as a contender for a Nobel Prize.
The five-class Legion of Honor award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to give recognition to civilians and soldiers. Roth received the title of Commander, the third-class title.