Historic Ipswich marks the Updike years

Shillington, Pa. isn’t the only community that’s able to claim John Updike as a “native son.” Ipswich, Mass. also deserves a share of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and Gordon Harris of HistoricIpswich.org explains why:

The Updikes lived in the Ipswich area for 17 years in three different houses, where John and Mary were active in community affairs and Updike was working in Ipswich when Couples put him on the cover of Time magazine and in the international spotlight.

“Like Ipswich, Tarbox [the town named in Couples] was a small coastal town founded in 1634. Its streets were lined with 17th century saltboxes, the downtown street had three banks and a Woolworths.”

Harris notes that Updike, at the age of 32, became the youngest person ever elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Below, far right, Updike participated in the Ipswich 17th Century Day pageant.

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