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Remembering John Updike46:23

John Updike at BookExpo America in Washington, May 20, 2006.(AP)
John Updike at BookExpo America in Washington, May 20, 2006.(AP)

He was the author of more than 60 books — novels, poems, essays and reviews. A book a year or thereabouts. He was a poet of suburbia, a lifelong Christian, a writer whose sex scenes could make almost anyone blush. Above all, he was a grand chronicler of the American century.

Writing of baseball great Ted Williams, Updike wrote, “Gods do not answer letters.” Updike, like Williams, was a prodigy. And America has lost its great man of letters.

This hour, On Point: Remembering John Updike.

You can join the conversation. What’s your favorite Updike novel, story, poem? What will you remember most about this American man of letters?Guests:

From Amherst, Mass., we're joined by William Pritchard, a distinguished literary critic and professor of English at Amherst College. He’s one of the great Updike scholars, and had a long-running correspondence with him. He’s the author of “Updike: America’s Man of Letters.”

And with us in our studio is Sue Miller, author of "The Senator's Wife," "The Good Mother," and other novels.

More links:

On Point host Tom Ashbrook interviewed Updike twice in recent years: about his acclaimed art criticism in Sept. 2005, and about his novel "Terrorist" in June 2006.

The Boston Globe's Mark Feeney writes the stand-out obit on Updike.  Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times has a warm appreciation.  An A-list cast of New Yorker contributors remembers him.

The Globe also posts Updike's famous sendoff for Ted Williams, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu."

This program aired on January 28, 2009.

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