In a video post on the Library of America website titled “Adam Gopnik: The secret behind John Updike’s productivity,” the New Yorker writer called Updike the “first fully expressed American writer”—meaning there was nothing of his that he didn’t leave behind that readers wished he had. He wrote everything, and he wrote it well. Why?
We won’t give that away. For that, you’ll have to watch the short video, because Gopnik’s answer has the weight of a punch line.