Appraisals

Remembering Updike

Authors are popping up across the internet to tip their hats at John Updike, who passed away yesterday afternoon. At Vanity Fair, James Wolcott writes that, when he last heard Updike a few months ago, “he sounded hale, chipper, as pinpoint articulate as ever—ageless… So his death, even at the age of 76, seems abrupt, unjust.” At The New Yorker, several writers weigh in. Julian Barnes writes of reading Updike’s novels during an American book tour: “[they] were a distraction from, and a glittering confirmation of, the vast bustling ordinariness of American life.” And, at The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani, who so often sharpened her critical knives on Updike’s pages, makes nice, praising him as “this country’s one true all-around man of letters.”