FORA.tv Speaker - John Updike

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Biography

Novelist, short story writer and poet, John Updike is one of America's premier men of letters. As a boy growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania, he suffered from psoriasis and a stammer, ailments that set him apart from his peers. He found solace in writing, and won a scholarship to Harvard, where he edited the Lampoon humor magazine. He sold his first poem and short story to The New Yorker shortly after graduation.

He won early fame with his novel Rabbit, Run (1960), and Pulitzer Prizes for two of its sequels, Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990), chronicling the life of a middle class American through the social upheavals of the 1960s and beyond. Rabbit, Run and Couples (1968) both stirred controversy with their forthright depiction of America's changing sexual mores, and established his reputation as a peerless observer of the human complexity behind the facade of ostensibly conventional lives. His fiction, poetry and essays also show a persistent interest in moral and philosophical questions, informed by a lifelong interest in Christian theology.

John Updike is one of very few Americans to be honored with both the National Medal of Art and the National Medal for the Humanities. As of this writing, he has published more than 60 books. The Early Stories, 1953-1975, published in 2004, collects the short fiction from the first two decades of his career. As large a volume as it is, it represents only a small part of his vast contribution to American literature.

1 Program

John Updike Reads Terrorist

06.09.06 | 00:58:19 min | 6 comments