Panel judge and fellow author Carmen Callil quit the Booker Prize committee upon learning Roth was the pick for this year’s $97,000 (£60,600) cash prize on Wednesday night (18May11).
She told Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “I don’t rate him (Roth) as a writer at all. I made it clear that I wouldn’t have put him on the longlist of nominees), so I was amazed when he stayed there.
“He goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It’s as though he’s sitting on your face and you can’t breathe.”
Head judge Rick Gekoski tells the New York Times, “I am very regretful that she would go public in this way because I think it’s disrespectful to the winner.”
Roth will be feted at a formal dinner in London on 28 June (11).
The writer is no stranger to scandal – he previously stirred controversy with his 1969 novel Portnoy’s Complaint, which drew criticism for its sexually explicit monologue.
His body of work includes American Pastoral (1997) and The Human Stain (2000), which was turned into a movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman.