November 2011

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Conan O’Brien insists he’s running for president in 2012, and recently his blog revived a May 26, 2011 post we all missed about an O’Brien-Updike connection.

Interestingly, both O’Brien and Updike served as president of the Lampoon while at Harvard. But that’s not the connection. Here’s the link. Thanks to member Larry C. Randen for calling it to our attention. And Conan, if you’re reading this, how about commenting here about what Updike told you?

In response to members who said they were swamped this time of the year, program director Bernard F. Rodgers, Jr. has extended the deadline for abstracts/proposals for the Second Biennial John Updike Society Conference. The conference, which will be held June 12-16 at Suffolk University in Boston, opens with a keynote address by Joyce Carol Oates on the evening of the 12th and features tours to Updike sites in Ipswich and Boston (including the Lampoon, pictured) and Hawthorne sites in Salem.

Here is the original Call for Papers, which are now due on January 16.



James Schiff, editor of The John Updike Review, reports that the very first issue has begun shipping. The issue is free with membership, though there’s also a special edition hardcover version, with slipcase, available for those who are interested.

“I’m pleased with our inaugural issue,” Schiff writes. “We have a mix of essays, academic and belletristic, as well as tributes and reviews from scholars, novelists, short story writers, and poets.  Further, and in line with Updike’s thinking when it came to making books, we have aimed high in regard to aesthetics: design elements, photographs, art, quality and care of the editing. We hope our readers will be pleased.”  Email Jim ( for more information, or for ordering extra copies of the journal or the special edition. Otherwise, keep checking your mailbox!