John Updike is dead. How can such a mind, such a spirit be no longer in the world? The eternal mystery.
It doesn’t seem possible. It was 13 years ago, but since he made such a huge impact on me as a reader and a writer, I wanted to remember him, 13 years after the fact.
I felt personally attached to him, in the way that we do to authors we love. My first undergraduate research paper as an English major at St. Cloud State was on Updike’s three Rabbit novels.
When he read in St. Paul at what was then The Hungry Mind bookstore, I got there an hour early to get a seat, and waited in an endless line to have him sign some books. (Anybody who knows me knows that it’s truly a big deal for me to be early anywhere).
I’m sad. Who can write a more perfectly crafted story than “At the A & P”?
And just for reminder’s sake, and if you’re looking for some reading material, here are the three Rabbit novels.
Just can’t let his stories or the man be forgotten. Ever.
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I, too, heard John Updike read. During the reading he took out a pencil and marked something in his book. After the reading, I asked him what he was writing in the book. He said he found an unnecessary word and crossed it out. I loved his stories and I love your post remembering him. Thanks.
Thanks, Roger. I love that story about his editing during a public reading. No wonder he was such a master. It makes me very happy to hear how much you loved his stories, too. Thank YOU.