Remembering and Journaling John Updike

Moments after his death, I received an announcement from my New York Times email alert. I had to read it twice. How could John Updike be dead? He was one of America’s most prominent and prolific writers, whose literary life encompassed so many genres. Although he was the author of 25 novels and over 12 short story collections, he had also written essays, poetry and memoir. He was the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, an accomplishment most writers only dream about.  It has been said that writers are appreciated more dead than alive. I don’t think this is true with Updike. I know many people, writers and non-writers alike who have admired and will continue to admire his work.


The last time I heard about Updike was from my poet friend, a niece of Updike’s who said that he was ill back in September and they thought he had pneumonia, but it turned out to be lung cancer. After speaking with her yesterday, I hear that he had just gone into hospice on Monday and by Tuesday he was gone!


Updike was part of my mother’s generation which really brings the story close to home. We often take for granted the people who have been steady figures in our lives, but once in a while it’s good to stop and tell them you love them, because you just never know when will be the last time. I think I will go do that now!


1 Response to “Remembering and Journaling John Updike”

  1. 1 coffee January 29, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    the loss of John Updike makes me wonder if the literary world is being replenished at the same rate that it’s losing such great writers

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Quote of the Week

"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me

I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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