John Updike Dies at 76

27updike-190The writer John Updike (pictured), 76, died today of lung cancer. I can’t say I knew him; I can say I worked with him. As a cub fact-checker, at The New Yorker, twenty years ago, I had occasion to deal with his prose, or, rather, with his facts. Unlike certain other titans of the place, Updike appreciated checkers, and was quick to tell his editor, Ann Goldstein, of his gratitude. I worked on his review of a Dorothy Parker biography, and caught a couple of minor errors he had made in his copy. In return, he sent me a hand-written note of thanks. I didn’t love all his novels, their suburban subject matter being too often about the world I had moved to New York to escape from. But I consider him a superb prose stylist, and I suspect his “Rabbit” books will be read long after I, too, join him in the ether.

One Comment to “John Updike Dies at 76”

  1. John Updike’s passing is sad, but he left a ton of awesome work. “Immortality is nontransferrable” he said appropriately.

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