“When I was born, my parents and my mother’s parents planted a dogwood tree in the side yard of the large white house in which we lived throughout my boyhood,” wrote John Updike. “This tree I learned quite early, was exactly my age, was, in a sense, me.” Updike might now be gone, but the dogwood tree is still outside his boyhood home in Shillington, Pennsylvania, and the house where the author spent his first 13 years is now for sale on Ebay.
THERE AREN’T MANY literary agents in New York City who can honestly claim never to have lost a client to Andrew Wylie. The man poaches talent from his competitors regularly and without reservation, and he has said repeatedly that he sees nothing immoral about doing so. His method relies on a mix of flattery, persistence Read More
Hundreds gathered last night under the shimmering saucer dome of the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum to remember John Updike. The lights went down at 7 p.m., and a moment later the screen onstage flickered awake to show the late author seated three years ago in the very same room, Read More
1 p.m. Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and actor Denis Leary will dedicate a new $4.2 million high-rise simulator to the F.D.N.Y. Fire Academy on Randall’s Island.
3 p.m. New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler will visit Manhattan’s Democracy Prep Charter School for a rally on “the importance of physical fitness and good nutrition,” at Read More
Wednesday, March 18
Phew! We survived St. Patrick’s Day without being run over by a beer-swilling, laid-off trader from Hoboken! (We went there once in our early 20s to celebrate this “holiday” and weren’t quite right for years …) Who would guess that St. Patrick was actually an upstanding Christian missionary and not the Read More
On July 6th, 2005, The Observer officially launched the Media Mob under editor Tom Scocca with a post that attempted—and failed—to introduce an awkward portmanteau word we thought would capture large media companies’ incursions into the then-still novel medium of blogs. We called it (shudder) blogentrification, and described it as follows:
It starts with Read More
Adam Begley, The Observer‘s longtime book review editor, has signed on with HarperCollins to write a biography of John Updike, who died last month of lung cancer at the age of 76. Mr. Begley sold the book through the literary agent George Borchardt, and will be edited by Tim Duggan. The publication date is Read More
Among the many tributes to John Updike, perhaps the most expansive and detailed is Ian McEwan’s fine essay in The Guardian. Mr. McEwan has been publicly praising Updike—the “reticent, kindly man with the ferocious work ethic and superhuman facility”—for decades. Here he trains his craftsman’s eye on the mechanics of Updike’s method:
Here’s one more tribute to John Updike, who died yesterday at the age of 76: "Insane Clown Poppy," The Simpsons episode in which Mr. Updike made a cameo (along with Tom Wolfe, Stephen King, and Amy Tan).
In the book Updike in Cincinnati (Ohio University Press, 2007), the author explains how Read More
Adam Begley looks at the work of John Updike and shares some personal memories of the man. Leon Neyfakh talks with the writer’s friends and colleagues and James Kaplan tells of his own 1990 Updike encounter. Plus: An Editorial Remembrance
Leon Neyfakh wonders Why Do Young Male Writers Love Icky, Read More