John Hoyer Updike was an American writer. In his novels, he described particularly the American Protestant small town middle class. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for two of his novels, Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit rests.
Those students who have decided to write a successful research paper on the topic have to know that John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up there nearby Shillington, where his father was a science teacher at a high school. John was the parents’ only child, and the family lived with his grandparents in a large house. The area serves as a model for the small-town-America as Updike describes, for example, in his books about Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom.
When he was 13, they moved out to the country, to the mother’s parental home on a farm in Plowville. From a young age he began to take an interest in literary and artistic creation, encouraged by his mother.
Meanwhile, he studied at the high school, the summer he worked on a local newspaper, received a scholarship, and then began studying English at Harvard University. He took part in student newspapers with humorous stories and cartoons. In 1954 he graduated with honors, and it was the same year his first works published in The New Yorker, where he would henceforth be active.
Updike had married a fellow student during the years at Harvard, and his wife followed him across the Atlantic, when he began studying art at Oxford University. After returning to the United States, the family settled in Manhattan, and John became a permanent member of staff at The New Yorker. In 1957, Updike decided to become a freelance writer, and simultaneously moved with his family to Ipswich, Massachusetts. However, he continued to write occasionally for The New Yorker.
In 1958 Updike’s first book appeared, the poetry collection The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures, and his debut novel Basar in the poorhouse was released the following year. For the latter he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and with the added support first book in the Rabbit series, Rabbit runs. He was awarded the National Book Award in 1963 for his novel The centaur, and was elected in 1964, as the youngest ever, at the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
The remainder of the 1960s and 1970s, Updike was hired for a cultural exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, and seemed to aid Soviet Jews in preserving their culture. He traveled in that capacity to the Soviet Union to support Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
In 1968, Updike ended up on the cover of Time. During the mid-1970s, Updike divorced his wife, and moved to Boston, where he worked at the university. In 1977 he married again, and moved to Georgetown, Massachusetts.
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