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Rabbit Gone

from CNN

Famed author John Updike dies of cancer at 76

(CNN) — Author John Updike, regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific writers in modern American letters, died Tuesday, his publicist said. He was 76.

updike.pngUpdike passed away Tuesday morning after battling lung cancer. He lived in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.

“He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed,” said Nicholas Latimer, vice president of publicity at Updike’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

Updike was a rarity among American writers: a much-esteemed, prize-winning author whose books — including “Rabbit, Run” (1960), “Couples” (1968), “The Witches of Eastwick” (1984) and “Terrorist” (2006) — were also best-sellers. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize twice: for “Rabbit Is Rich” (1981) and its successor, “Rabbit at Rest” (1991). iReport: Share your tributes to John Updike

The “Rabbit” series, about an angst-ridden car dealer in a town much like Updike’s hometown of Shillington, Pennsylvania, spanned four novels, a novella and four decades. In the books — which also included 1971’s “Rabbit Redux” and a 2001 novella, “Rabbit Remembered” — onetime basketball star Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom negotiates marriage, divorce, wealth and health problems, never quite understanding the larger forces shaping his life.

“Rabbit is not a character calculated to inspire affection, but he is an unflinchingly authentic specimen of American manhood, and his boorishness makes his rare moments of vulnerability and empathy that much more heartbreaking,” wrote Time’s Lev Grossman in naming “Rabbit, Run” to Time’s “All-Time 100 Novels” list.

[ click to continue reading at CNN.com ]

Posted on January 27, 2009 by MJS

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