John Updike

Writer

Born: 18 March 1932
Died: 27 January 2009 (lung cancer)
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania
Best known as:

The author of the 1960 novel Rabbit, Run

After moving from Harvard and Oxford to a staff position on The New Yorker magazine, John Updike turned his talent and brainy pedigree into a successful 50-year career as a novelist, essayist and critic. He is best known for his "Rabbit" book series (beginning with Rabbit, Run in 1960), following college basketball star Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom into a confused middle and old age in late-20th-century America. Two books in the series, Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990), won the Pulitzer Prize. The "Rabbit" books, along with frankly sexual novels like Couples (1968), established Updike as a sophisticated reporter on modern middle-class tragedy. Prolific as all get-out, Updike also wrote hundreds of short stories and poems to go along with his 27 novels and his steady stream of essays and book reviews; in 1997 he even engineered a group-written mystery story on the Internet. His books include The Centaur (1963), Bech: A Book (1970); Hugging the Shore (1983, essays); The Witches of Eastwick (1984); Collected Poems 1953-1993 (1993); and Terrorist (2006).

Extra credit:

Updike wrote four "Rabbit" novels: Rabbit, Run (1960); Rabbit Redux (1971); Rabbit is Rich (1981); and Rabbit At Rest (1990). He also wrote an added novella, Rabbit Remembered, in 2001... Updike, like humorists Conan O'Brien and Robert Benchley, edited the comedy magazine The Harvard Lampoon while a student at the school... Updike married Mary Entwisted Pennington in 1953. They separated in 1974 and were divorced in 1976. They had four children: David, Michael, Miranda, and Elizabeth... Updike married Martha Bernhard in 1977, and they remained married until his death in 2009.

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