Updike

Updike

[uhp-dahyk]
Updike, Daniel Berkeley, 1860-1941, American printer and historian of typography, b. Providence, R.I. At the Merrymount Press, which he founded in 1893 in Boston, his stated purpose was "to do common work well." Here, the excellence of his printing, influenced by William Morris, inspired and instructed other printers. At Harvard he taught the first college course in the United States on the history of type and the practice of printing. In his books he added the care and scope of the scholar to the knowledge of a master printer. Printing Types: Their History, Forms, and Use (1922, 2d ed. 1937) is the standard work on the subject and a basic book for all interested in the graphic arts. Updike's other works include In the Day's Work (1924) and Some Aspects of Printing (1941).

See G. P. Winship, Daniel Berkeley Updike and the Merrymount Press (1947); Updike: American Printer and the Merrymount Press (1948), a symposium.

Updike, John, 1932-2009, American author, one of the nation's most distinguished 20th-century men of letters, b. Shillington, Pa., grad. Harvard, 1954. In his many novels and stories, written in a well-modulated prose of extraordinary beauty, lyricism, and dazzling fluidity and with a sure eye for the details of ordinary domestic life, Updike usually treats the tensions and frustrations of the middle class, often mingling the joys and sorrows of suburban life with a current of existential dread. His "Rabbit quartet," perhaps his most famous novels, begins with Rabbit Run (1961), which, set in Pennsylvania in the 1950s, concerns the young Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, a sort of surburban everyman who yearns for his days as a high school basketball star, hates his salesman's job, and, fleeing a loveless marriage, deserts his wife and child. The next books follow him through three decades of American life. In Rabbit Redux (1971), he confronts racial tension, job obsolescence, sexual freedom, drugs, violence, and the alienation of the young. The quartet continues with Rabbit Is Rich (1981; Pulitzer Prize) and ends with Rabbit at Rest (1990; Pulitzer Prize). The Rabbit characters are brought up to date in Rabbit Remembered, a novella-sequel included in the volume Licks of Love (2000).

Remarkably prolific, Updike produced about a book a year, publishing 60 volumes during his lifetime as well as reams of miscellaneous writings. His other novels include The Poorhouse Fair (1959); The Centaur (1962); the sensual Couples (1968); the exotic The Coup (1978); the wickedly comic The Witches of Eastwick (1984) and its sequel, The Widows of Eastwick (2008); the epic In the Beauty of the Lilies (1995); Seek My Face (2002); and The Terrorist (2006). Among his volumes of poetry, many consisting of light verse, are The Carpentered Hen (1958), Facing Nature (1985), Americana (2001), and Endpoint and Other Poems (2009). His many superb short-story collections include Pigeon Feathers (1962), Museums and Women and Other Stories (1972), Problems (1979), The Afterlife and Other Stories (1994), My Father's Tears and Other Stories (2009), and the linked stories that feature Updike's Jewish, urban, unmarried, and writer's-blocked alter ego, Henry Bech: Bech: A Book (1970), Bech Is Back (1982), and Bech at Bay (1998). Updike also wrote the play Buchanan Dying (1974) and a variety of nonfiction—literary criticism, e.g., Hugging the Shore (1983), Odd Jobs (1991), More Matter (1999), and Due Considerations (2007); art criticism, e.g., Just Looking (1989) and Still Looking (2005); and essays on numerous subjects, e.g., Golf Dreams (1996).

See his memoirs (1989); J. Plath, ed., Conversations with John Updike (1994); studies by D. Thorburn and H. Eiland, ed. (1979), W. R, Macnaughton, ed. (1982), J. Detweiler (rev. ed. 1984), J. H. Campbell (1987), J. Newman (1988), R. M. Luscher (1993), J. A. Schiff (1998), J. Yerkes, ed. (1999), W. H. Pritchard (2000), J. De Bellis, ed. (2005), and P. J. Bailey (2006); J. De Bellis, The John Updike Encyclopedia (2000).

(born March 18, 1932, Shillington, Pa., U.S.—died Jan. 27, 2009, Danvers, Mass.) U.S. writer. He attended Harvard University and in 1955 began a long association with The New Yorker. His works are known for careful craftsmanship and for their subtle depiction of American middle-class life. His famous “Rabbit” series—Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981, Pulitzer Prize), and Rabbit at Rest (1990, Pulitzer Prize)—follows a very ordinary American man through the decades of the later 20th century; Rabbit Remembered (2001) centres on characters from the earlier books in the wake of Rabbit's death. A Jewish novelist named Bech is the subject of three other novels. Updike's other fiction includes The Centaur (1963), Of the Farm (1965), Couples (1968), The Witches of Eastwick (1984; film, 1987), In the Beauty of the Lilies (1996), Terrorist (2006), and The Widows of Eastwick (2008). He has also published short-story collections, including Pigeon Feathers (1962), several volumes of reviews and essays, and light verse.

Learn more about Updike, John (Hoyer) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 18, 1932, Shillington, Pa., U.S.—died Jan. 27, 2009, Danvers, Mass.) U.S. writer. He attended Harvard University and in 1955 began a long association with The New Yorker. His works are known for careful craftsmanship and for their subtle depiction of American middle-class life. His famous “Rabbit” series—Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981, Pulitzer Prize), and Rabbit at Rest (1990, Pulitzer Prize)—follows a very ordinary American man through the decades of the later 20th century; Rabbit Remembered (2001) centres on characters from the earlier books in the wake of Rabbit's death. A Jewish novelist named Bech is the subject of three other novels. Updike's other fiction includes The Centaur (1963), Of the Farm (1965), Couples (1968), The Witches of Eastwick (1984; film, 1987), In the Beauty of the Lilies (1996), Terrorist (2006), and The Widows of Eastwick (2008). He has also published short-story collections, including Pigeon Feathers (1962), several volumes of reviews and essays, and light verse.

Learn more about Updike, John (Hoyer) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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