55 Facts About John Updike


John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic.


One of only four writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.


John Updike wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books.


John Updike's work has attracted significant critical attention and praise, and he is widely considered one of the great American writers of his time.


John Updike described his style as an attempt "to give the mundane its beautiful due".


John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, the only child of Linda Grace and Wesley Russell John Updike, and was raised at his childhood home in the nearby small town of Shillington.


John Updike graduated from Shillington High School as co-valedictorian and class president in 1950 and received a full scholarship to Harvard College, where he was the roommate of Christopher Lasch during their first year.


John Updike studied with dramatist Robert Chapman, the director of Harvard's Loeb Drama Center.


John Updike stayed at The New Yorker as a full staff writer for only two years, writing "Talk of the Town" columns and submitting poetry and short stories to the magazine.


In New York, John Updike wrote the poems and stories that came to fill his early books like The Carpentered Hen and The Same Door.


John Updike remained a believing Christian for the rest of his life.


John Updike denied the suggestion in a letter to the paper.


In Ipswich, John Updike wrote Rabbit, Run, on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and The Centaur, two of his most acclaimed and famous works; the latter won the National Book Award.


Rabbit, Run featured Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, a former high school basketball star and middle-class paragon who would become John Updike's most enduring and critically acclaimed character.


John Updike's memoir indicates that he stayed in his "corner of New England to give its domestic news" with a focus on the American home from the point of view of a male writer.


In 1971, John Updike published a sequel to Rabbit, Run called Rabbit Redux, his response to the 1960s; Rabbit reflected much of John Updike's resentment and hostility towards the social and political changes that beset the United States during that time.


John Updike once wrote that it was "a subject which, if I have not exhausted, has exhausted me".


The Coup, a lauded novel about an African dictatorship inspired by a visit he made to Africa, found John Updike working in new territory.


John Updike found it difficult to end the book, because he was "having so much fun" in the imaginary county Rabbit and his family inhabited.


John Updike described it as an attempt to "make things right with my, what shall we call them, feminist detractors".


In 2008 John Updike published The Widows of Eastwick, a return to the witches in their old age.


John Updike enjoyed working in series; in addition to the Rabbit novels and the Maples stories, a recurrent John Updike alter ego is the moderately well-known, unprolific Jewish novelist and eventual Nobel laureate Henry Bech, chronicled in three comic short-story cycles: Bech, a Book, Bech Is Back and Bech at Bay: A Quasi-Novel.


In 2000, John Updike included the novella Rabbit Remembered in his collection Licks of Love, drawing the Rabbit saga to a close.


In Villages, John Updike returned to the familiar territory of infidelities in New England.


In 2003, John Updike published The Early Stories, a large collection of his short fiction spanning the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.


John Updike worked in a wide array of genres, including fiction, poetry, essays, a play, and a memoir.


John Updike married Mary Entwistle Pennington, an art student at Radcliffe College, in 1953, while he was still a student at Harvard.


John Updike accompanied him to Oxford, England, where she attended art school and where their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1955.


In 1977 John Updike married Martha Ruggles Bernhard, with whom he lived for more than thirty years in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.


John Updike died of lung cancer at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, on January 27,2009, at the age of 76.


John Updike published eight volumes of poetry over his career, including his first book The Carpentered Hen, and one of his last, the posthumous Endpoint.


John Updike's poetry has been praised for its engagement with "a variety of forms and topics", its "wit and precision", and for its depiction of topics familiar to American readers.


John Updike was a critic of literature and art, one frequently cited as one of the best American critics of his generation.


John Updike reviewed "nearly every major writer of the 20th century and some 19th-century authors", typically in The New Yorker, always trying to make his reviews "animated".


John Updike championed young writers, comparing them to his own literary heroes including Vladimir Nabokov and Marcel Proust.


Good reviews from John Updike were often seen as a significant achievement in terms of literary reputation and even sales; some of his positive reviews helped jump-start the careers of such younger writers as Erica Jong, Thomas Mallon and Jonathan Safran Foer.


Bad reviews by John Updike sometimes caused controversy, as when in late 2008 he gave a "damning" review of Toni Morrison's novel A Mercy.


John Updike was praised for his literary criticism's conventional simplicity and profundity, for being an aestheticist critic who saw literature on its own terms, and for his longtime commitment to the practice of literary criticism.


John Updike is certainly one of the great American novelists of the 20th century.


John Updike is considered one of the greatest American fiction writers of his generation.


John Updike was widely praised as America's "last true man of letters", with an immense and far-reaching influence on many writers.


John Updike once said of the Rabbit books that they were an exercise in point of view.


John Updike is and always will be no less a national treasure than his 19th-century precursor, Nathaniel Hawthorne.


For some time now John Updike's language has seemed to encode an almost theological optimism about its capacity to refer.


John Updike is notably unmodern in his impermeability to silence and the interruptions of the abyss.


Furthermore, John Updike was seen as the "best prose writer in the world", like Nabokov before him.


John Updike sang like Henry James, but he saw like Sinclair Lewis.


John Updike criticizes his political and aesthetic worldview for its "blandness and acceptance of authority in any form".


Sex in John Updike's work is noted for its ubiquity and the reverence with which he described it:.


John Updike's contemporaries invade the ground with wild Dionysian yelps, mocking both the taboos that would make it forbidden and the lust that drives men to it.


John Updike can be honest about it, and his descriptions of the sight, taste and texture of women's bodies can be perfect little madrigals.


Similarly, John Updike wrote about America with a certain nostalgia, reverence, and recognition and celebration of America's broad diversity.


John Updike often wrote about death, his characters providing a "mosaic of reactions" to mortality, ranging from terror to attempts at insulation.


John Updike himself experienced a "crisis over the afterlife", and indeed.


John Updike demonstrated his own fear in some of his more personal writings, including the poem "Perfection Wasted" :.