The much celebrated novelist, essayist and poet has passed away at the age of 76, after a battle against lung cancer.

updike.jpgUpdike was widely regarded as a writer who chronicled the American experience, particularly small-town rural America, and especially through through the turbulent changes in the1950s, 60s and 70s.  The most ambitious, and sucessful of these efforts, were through his quartet of “Rabbit” novels. The Guardian described him as a writer who captured America in all “its idiosyncrasies, its foibles, and its passing glories“. Besides the Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom series, some of his other famous works include the Witches of Eastwick( 1984), and Brazil (1994 ).

He was also a prolific writer, churning out some 30 novels, 10 volumes of essays and criticisms, and 14 of short stories over a 50-year career. But he was not always without his detractors – Norman Mailer once famously described him as the kind of writer loved by readers who knew nothing about writing. He came in for criticism as well for his support of the Vietnam War, and liberal readers have accused him of harbouring misogynist attitudes. In the “culture wars” of America, John Updike became both a landmark as well as divisive figure.

He was most famous for his descriptions of sex, and in fact was awarded the “lifetime achievement” award by the Literay Review magazine for Bad Sex in Fiction in 2008.

Some notable works:

Rabbit at Rest
London : Penguin, 2006.
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Rabbit Redux
New York : Fawcett Columbine, 1996.
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Licks of love : short stories and a sequel
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
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The witches of Eastwick
Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1985, c1984.
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