John Updike (Rabbit, Run, The Terrorist), who died earlier this year, would have turned 77 today. The Writer’s Almanac remembers him in a lengthy essay:
His father lost his job during the Great Depression, and the family moved into a farm house 11 miles out of town. So Updike spent much of his childhood alone, reading or living in a dream world. He read The New Yorker magazine every week, and while he was still in high school, he began sending his cartoons, poems, and stories to The New Yorker. Even though everything was rejected, he kept submitting to them. He won a scholarship to Harvard, and when he was a senior, The New Yorker finally accepted his work, and after he graduated the magazine offered him a job.Writer’s Almanac tells us Updike shares the day with George Plimpton (Out of My League, Paper Lion) and the poet Michael Harper (Dear John, Dear Coltrane).