One of America’s most celebrated writers would have turned 88 today if he were still alive. His voice is missed, but his legacy goes on. With the help of family, classmates, friends, and fans, the John Updike Society is currently working to create unique exhibits that will celebrate the author and the influence that Shillington and Berks County, Pa. had on his life and works.
Here, in remembrance of his birthday, is a photo of an early childhood book with a very young John Updike owner signature inside that will go on display in the house come October 3, when The John Updike Childhood Home, at 117 Philadelphia Ave. in Shillington, has its Grand Opening.
Also at this 1 p.m. ceremony, the plaque confirming the house as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places will be unveiled, as well as a Historic Pennsylvania Marker—both of which were approved last year.
Updike often said that his first ambition was to be a cartoonist and a Disney animator. Instead, he wound up being one of only three American writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction twice, and he wrote more than 60 books over a storied career that spanned some 60 years—enough to earn him the unofficial title of “America’s Man of Letters.”
Happy Birthday, John Updike.