Four Good Reasons to Love John Updike - "Playing with Dynamite" & "A&P" via the New Yorker Fiction Podcast & Two Fine Interviews
"Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing the open sea." John Updike (via BrainyQuote)
To be honest, I don't have time today to write a considered piece on one of my all-time favorite writers. But I can't walk away from the blogosphere without some tribute to the great John Updike (March 18, 1932 to January 27, 2009). So here are a few place markers.
First, treat yourself to Updike's 1992 short story, "Playing with Dynamite," read by Roger Angell and discussed with New Yorker Fiction Editor, Deborah Treisman in the New Yorker Fiction Podcast. There's an audio player on that website, so you can listen without downloading to an MP3 player.
Second, here is early Updike, the short story, "A&P," also from the New Yorker Fiction Podcast.
Below are video clips from Updike's interviews with Charlie Rose of PBS and Charles McGrath, a former fiction editor at the New Yorker who was also Editor of the New York Times Book Review. But before getting to those, let's look at the video farewell, which was broadcast in 2009 on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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