March 2012

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Yesterday marked John Updike’s 80th birthday, and in tribute The Christian Science Monitor offered 10 quotes “to commemorate one of America’s exceptional men of letters.”

Here’s the link to “John Updike: 10 quotes on his birthday.”

Member Ken Krawchuk writes that he heard on the radio that NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” will air archival interviews with John Updike today, in celebration of the author’s birthday and the rerelease of his works in paperback. You’ll have to check your local NPR station for the schedule.

Jack De Bellis provided this link for Pennsylvania area listeners, and here’s a link to the “Fresh Air” interviews that was just posted.


The third volume of John Updike’s essays on art, Always Looking, is now available for pre-order at for $29.70, 34 percent off the $45.00 list price.

Always Looking will be released in hardcover on November 27, 2012. As with Just Looking (1989) and Still Looking (2005), the 224-page volume will be generously illustrated with photos of the artwork.

Arts Beat reports that Random House will “mark John Updike’s birthday this month with the rerelease of some of his most beloved works, including the ‘Rabbit’ series, the publisher said on Tuesday.”

There’s no press release on the Random House media site to that effect, but Arts Beat writer Julie Bosman might have inside information. “Random House will also rerelease e-book editions of the entire backlist of Mr. Updike’s work,” she writes, “most of which has never appeared in e-book format. A posthumous essay collection, ‘Higher Gossip,’ will appear in paperback for the first time,” she writes, but gives no date. Here’s the link. Thanks to Jack De Bellis for calling it to our attention.

Details are in place for the Second Biennial John Updike Society Conference, co-sponsored and hosted by Suffolk University, Boston.

We hope that we’ve balanced special sessions and tours with enough free time to enjoy this historic city.

Here are registration and hotel details: UPDIKE IN BOSTON and information on Suffolk dorm housing reservations.

They will also be emailed to members. The closing dinner  for this conference will be at Woodman’s of Essex, which, attendees at the First Biennial John Updike Society Conference learned, was a place where Updike often took his family. They’re also world-famous for their clambakes.