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andee's world: R.I.P. John Updike

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

R.I.P. John Updike

One of my favorite writers passed away last week. A short overview of the man's extraordinary career from Flavorpill.com:

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John Updike remembered
Sifting through a literary great's prolific past
John Updike John Updike's death last week signaled the loss of one of America's most prolific writers. Though widely recognized, Updike's canon is daunting for the first-time reader; we present an overview of his must-read legacy.

Everyone relates to Rabbit. Some of Updike's most-loved novels focus on Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, who peaks as a high-school basketball star, only to spend the rest of his life dulled by regret and stunted ambition. Two books in the series received the Pulitzer Prize.

Updike's prose gets it on. The author was well known for his overt sexuality and graphic descriptions of bedroom exploits — his 1968 novel Couples caused a national uproar, while The Witches of Eastwick was widely criticized as a masculinist fantasy. Updike was even nominated four times for the Literary Review's playful Bad Sex in Fiction Award, and earned last year's lifetime-achievement honor.

He was both creator and critic. In addition to his 28 novels and hundreds of short stories, Updike was an inexhaustible literary critic. The archives of the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books are rife with the literary anthropologist's essays and observations.

Listen to Updike discuss his work, read TIME magazine's 1968 cover story about Couples, hear New York Review of Books founder Robert Silvers' NPR tribute to the author, and buy the Rabbit series.

- Chelsea Bauch

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