John Updike 1932-2009
Tue Jan 27 2009
John Updike—a novelist, art and literary critic, and onetime golf enthusiast—is dead. Most famous for his series of novels about Rabbit Angstrom, he won two National Book Awards and a Pulitzer, and was prominently included on The New York Times's "What Is the Best Work of American Fiction in the Last 25 Years?" list. His fans included David Foster Wallace, who once defended the novelist from attacks that he was "just a penis with a thesaurus." Though his most recent novels received mixed reviews (see below), he remained, until the end, admired for his stunning sentences and breadth of knowledge, writing, in addition to novels, nonfiction about painters, popular fiction writers and obscure scribes who are now practically lost in contemporary American literary discussions (e.g., Robert Pinget and Henry Green). He will be missed.