In Memoriam: John Updike

Pulitzer prize winning author, poet, critic, and New Yorker contributor, John Updike passed away today at the age 0f 76.  You can see the full news story here.

Although most people probably will recognize him as the author of the book that led to the movie The Witches of Eastwick, he also wrote the famous short story A&P, which many college students are forced to read in Introduction to Literature courses (I don’t require it in my current courses, but it’s included in the textbook we use.  And I’ll be making a “suggestion” that students take a look at it in honor of his death today).

Updike’s 1981 Rabbit is Rich earned him his first Pulitzer, and the fourth and final book in the “Rabbit” series won another Pulitzer.  These books were far off my radar, and I’m a little puzzled that I’ve never encountered them prior to today, being that they were written by an author that I respect and that they won two Pulitzers.  If anyone has read any books from the “Rabbit” series and would care to comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. the loss of John Updike makes me wonder if the literary world is being replenished at the same rate that it’s losing such great writers

    AL: Now there’s an interesting question! I certainly think it’s harder to find “good” writers in the mainstream best sellers list these days. The NYT Bestseller’s list isn’t an indication of good writing. But, there are award winners out there that might not be best sellers, you just have to be willing to look in less glamorous and popular places.

  2. Hi, Updike has never been on any of my TBR lists even though his books appear on many “best of” lists. I’ve read several obituaries of Updike that talk of his preocupation with sex. Frankly, I’m put off by that.

    AL: Interesting. I think most people are preoccupied with sex, but maybe his was of a more sinister variety ; P That brings up the age old question of whether we should read authors works when they have questionable morals in their personal lives.


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