Twenty-four Updike scholars from seven countries will present papers, and Donald J. Greiner, who was among the first to publish a book on Updike’s work, will be featured in a plenary session.
Dave and Jack have arranged a panel featuring Updike’s first wife, Mary Weatheral, and three of Updike’s children—Elizabeth, Miranda, and Michael. And in a split panel we’ll hear from Updike’s Shillington High School classmates Jackie Hirneisen Kendall and Joan Venne Youngerman, and then Harlan Boyer, Emerson Gundy, and Jimmy Trexler.
Another highlight for members should be two three-hour tours of the Shillington, Reading, and Plowville Updike sites, including looks inside Updike’s childhood home, the church where he was baptized, and the Plowville farm. And of course we’ll pay our respects at the grave site of Updike’s parents, where John’s ashes were scattered last May.
Fun receptions and dinners are planned for every night, with time built in for everyone to get to know each other. So the time has finally come to register for the conference. Please note that if you pay your registration fee by July 1, you’ll save $35! All the information is below, on a PDF file. The program is complete, but please bear in mind that it may change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Check out this Washington Post article, which begins, “Reading is required for any John Updike pilgrimage. . . . It seems you can’t go a block in this city of about 83,000 without running into one of the author’s old stomping grounds or a scene from one of his books, where often the city is named Alton or Brewer.”