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Remembering John Updike, Literary Legend

John Updike listens during a Nov. 2004 press conference.
Mandel Ngan
/
Getty Images
John Updike listens during a Nov. 2004 press conference.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike died of lung cancer Jan. 27. He was 76.

Over his decades-long career, Updike authored more than 25 novels and over a dozen short story collections, as well as poems, essays and a memoir.

Updike won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1982 for his novel Rabbit is Rich and another Pulitzer in 1991 for Rabbit at Rest. He also received the National Book Award in 1964 for his novel The Centaur, which follows a depressed school teacher and his anxious son in rural Pennsylvania.

In 1998, Updike was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a lifetime achievement award issued by the National Book Awards.

These interviews were originally broadcast on March 17, 1988, March 16, 1989, and Oct. 14, 1997.

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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