John Updike’s death in January left a giant hole in my reading life. He chronicled American culture during my lifetime in a way that I always found lucid and smart. He seemed to know about everything, from Søren Kierkegaard to Ted Williams. And I simply loved the way he wrote.
Updike was so productive that it seemed like there was always a new book of his to add to one’s reading list. When the New Yorker arrived, I immediately scanned the contents to see if Updike had contributed an essay or review. His literary criticism was consistently sharp and more often than not polite. Updike was a gentleman.