Tag Archives: john updike

My non-existent experience with Updike

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve only read one book by John Updike, and one short story. The book was The Witches of Eastwick and I read it after seeing the movie twice. I saw the movie twice by accident — sort of. Dean and I saw it and then some friends wanted to see it so we saw it again. So I read the book — but I don’t recall why.  Perhaps so I could say I read a book by John Updike?

The short story I read was A&P. I remember liking it. I read it in college, I think. My son recently had to read in for his high school freshman English class.

I knew about Updike from a young age, however. My mom had a book of his called Couples. It had sex in it and I’d skim the book to find the parts with sex. I tried to read it from the beginning, but it was boring to me otherwise. (this may have been after sixth grade though)

When I was in the sixth grade an author came to our class to tell us about being an author. His name is Larry Woiwode. (his sister was my student teacher that year). I’ve not read any of his books either, although I have most of them. He called John Updike his friend when he visited our class. I knew who Updike was by then, but perhaps Woiwode’s mentioning him made me more aware of him. [Although now that I think about it I was in 6th grade in 1968 when Couples was published — but perhaps I’d heard of the author before somehow.]

A friend of mine really liked John Updike. She liked his Rabbit novels. I didn’t even try to like them.

So. Perhaps I’ll try to read another book by Updike in honor of his passing. Or perhaps I’ll read a Woiwode book instead.

Oh wait — Updike wrote a sequel to The Witches of Eastwick. There. Decision made.