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The Late John Updike's Relationship With The Bay State

One of America's most prolific and beloved writers has died. John Hoyer Updike passed away yesterday of lung cancer in hospice near his home in Beverly Farms. He was 76-years-old.

He wrote essays, short stories, poems, reviews and novels. More than 50 of them. His work won numerous awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for "Rabbit is Rich" and "Rabbit at Rest."

Here he is in 2005, talking about his writing, on WBUR'S On Point.

JOHN UPDIKE: If you've written more or less steadily for 50 years, everything you begin reminds you of something you've already written. So it's a little hard to find that opening, that clearing in the woods that makes you feel creative and like you do have something more in you.

For decades, Updike called Massachusetts home. Originally from Pennsylvania, he studied at Harvard University, graduating in 1954. After living in New York a few years, he and his family settled in Ipswich. He moved to Beverly Farms in the early 1980s.

Throughout his years on the North Shore, Updike kept a low profile. Another renowned writer from the area — Andre Dubus III, who lives in Newburyport --says Updike savored privacy.

To talk about how Massachusetts influenced Updike's work, we turn to Quentin Miller. He teaches English at Suffolk University and wrote a book, called "John Updike and the Cold War."

This program aired on January 28, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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