December 2011

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The Niemczyk Hoffman Group, which owns and occupies the Updike boyhood home in Shillington, has decided to test the market. They’ve put the house at 117 Philadelphia Avenue up for sale on Ebay. The price is $499,000, with the starting bid set at $249,000.00.

The description of the property is full of history, and they’ve also posted a list of Updike books and mentioned the Society archive at Alvernia.

Here’s the link.

And here’s how others see the sale:

“John Updike’s Boyhood Home Is a Real Fixer-Upper” (The Atlantic Wire)

“Do People Pay More for Houses Once Occupied by Famous Writers?” (Slate Magazine)

Thanks to member Larry C. Randen for the article links.

 

The Witches of Eastwick was the latest “forgotten fiction” to be featured on Why I Really Like This Book, podcasts by Dr. Kate Macdonald, a lecturer in English Studies at Ghent University, Belgium.

She sends the link, hoping it “might be interesting, and hopefully entertaining, to Updike scholars. I’m not one myself,” she says, “but I gave an honest opinion.”

Thanks to Dr. Macdonald, with a reminder: ¬†You don’t have to be an Updike scholar to join the Society!

Society member Andrew Moorhouse writes from England that an interview John Updike gave to Sue Lawley for Desert Island Discs, a popular BBC radio program, is now online.

In it, he talks about “how he overcame a bad stutter, how he has learnt to control his psoriasis and how now, aged 63, he finally feels normal; part of the gang he never was as a teenager.”

Here’s the link.