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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:33 pm
John Updike, R.I.P.
Posted by: Keir Graff

Donna Seaman just came by my office to tell me that John Updike has died. From an e-mail sent by Nicholas Latimer, VP, Director of Publicity at Knopf:

It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning at the age of 76, after a battle with lung cancer. He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed.

There will be an outpouring of news and tributes, of course, and I’ll gather some of those links. For now, take a moment to read Brad Hooper’s starred review of Terrorist (2006), in which Updike showed us that, even in his seventies, he still had a few tricks up his sleeve.


It was the best of Updike, it was the worst of Updike. (“Rabbit at Rest,” by Troy Patterson, Slate)

Updike was “kaleidoscopically gifted.” (“John Updike, a Lyrical Writer of the Middle-Class Man, Dies at 76,” by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times)

He was also “almost blogger-like.” (“A Relentless Updike Mapped America’s Mysteries,” by Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

Joyce Carol Oates remembers John Updike as “always gracious, warmly funny, kind, and bemused—and of course very bright, and ardent, when it came to literature.” (“Remembering Updike,” The New Yorker)



4 Responses to “John Updike, R.I.P.”
  1. shelli Says:

    The writing world stopped breathing for one second and will never be the same.

  2. coffee Says:

    John Updike possessed a truly beautiful mind; he didn’t just write well, he wrote wisely

  3. Mauro Says:

    John Updike é o Balzac da classe média americana

  4. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » J.D. Salinger, R.I.P. Says:

    [...] of the most mysterious and pervasive legacies of any great writer of the twentieth century. When John Updike passed, when David Foster Wallace died, word spread among the hallways pretty quickly at Booklist. But [...]

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