Updike's passions

Religion, sex, art
As John Updike’s readers know, he was haunted by death, but he lived in hope that his words would live and speak to other children of earth. “I think of [my] books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a country-ish teenaged boy finding them and having them speak to him.”

Shining in every dust-jacket photograph are the eyes of a country-ish boy from Shillington, Pennsylvania—the shy high achiever who could learn anything and who would gladly tell the rest of us everything he knew. He tapped out at least three pages every day. When he died this year of lung cancer at age 76, that daily discipline had amounted to over 60 volumes of novels, short stories, poems and essays. At least one more collection of stories is scheduled for publication in the spring.


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