John Updike (1932-2009) was an American novelist, poet, writer and literary critic. The area surrounding Reading has provided the setting for many of his stories. He is known for his "Rabbit" novels (Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom).
Life and works
Updike was born March 18, 1932, in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was very interesting in art and writing as a child and attended Harvard University, where he majored in English. In 1954, he was first published with a poem and short story ("Friends from Philadelphia") in the New Yorker, and in 1958, he published his first book, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures. In 1959, he published his first novel, the Orwellian dystopian Poorhouse Fair, and became famous starting his "Rabbit" series with Rabbit Run (1960), in which he invokes the reader's sympathy for an unlikable character, a former basketball player coping with a poof life. His further novels include Couples (1968), Rabbit Redux (1971), Marry Me (1976), and Toward the End of Time (1997); his short story collections include Problems and Other Stories (1981) and The Afterlife and Other Stories (1994); and his poetry volumes include Midpoint and Other Poems (1969), Seventy Poems (1972), Tossing and Turning (1977), Facing Nature (1985), and Collected Poems 1953-1993 (1993), and Americana and Other Poems (2001). Much of his fiction is set in Ipswich and concerns other literature and sexuality.
He died on January 27, 2009, of lung cancer, and is one of the three authors to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once (the other two were William Faulkner and Booth Tarkington).
- "Updike, John." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.