Technological University Dublin lecturer named 1st Updike Tucson Casitas Fellow


The selection committee for the John Updike Tucson Casitas Fellowship has chosen Dr. Sue Norton, Lecturer of English in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Technological University Dublin, to serve as the first fellow in residence.

The Fellowship, which will be offered annually by The John Updike Society, consists of a $1000 honorarium and a two-week residency at the Mission Hill Casitas within the Skyline Country Club in Tucson, Arizona. Updike owned and wrote from the Casitas during a part of each year between 2004 and 2009. Located in the Catalina Foothills with a spectacular view of Tucson, the Casitas (pictured below) are owned by Jan and Jim Emery, who generously donated the two-week stay.

Robert M. Luscher, who oversaw the selection process, said the committee chose Norton because of the important contributions that her proposed projects make to Updike studies. During her residency, Norton will work on a critical essay (tentatively titled “Somewhere Between Feminism and Misogyny: Classic Updike on the Modern Syllabus”) and make initial progress on the proposal for an edited collection of essays to celebrate the centenary of Updike’s birth—a volume encouraged by the literary editor at Bloomsbury Publishing.

Norton, whose work has appeared in The Journal of Scholarly PublishingThe ExplicatorThe Irish Journal of American StudiesThe John Updike Review, and other books and journals, previously co-edited two volumes of essays with JUS member Laurence W. Mazzeno: Contemporary American Fiction in the European Clasroom: Teaching and Texts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) and European Perspectives on John Updike (Camden House, 2018). Norton came to Updike studies through her doctoral work on family in contemporary American fiction, which she completed in 2001 at University College Dublin. Her first article on Updike (The John Updike Review, 2014) was on the “regulating daughter” in the Rabbit novels. She has maintained an interest in the treatment of girls and women in Updike’s writing and beyond. It is on this topic that she will focus during her residency as the 2024 Fellow at the Tucson Casitas.

John Updike was one of only four writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. He was also among just a handful of Americans to be awarded both the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal, which are presented in White House ceremonies. He is widely know for his Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy, which fellow writer Ian McEwan said was his choice for Great American Novel. Updike also wrote poems, and many of the poems published in his final volume, Endpoint, were written at the Casitas.

Writer-scholar residencies in the U.S. are highly competitive and prestigious. Details on the 2025 fellowship and other grants offered by The John Updike Society can be found here.