John Updike: One of the Most Talented Writers of the Twentieth Century

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Thesis statement: John Updike’s writing style and versatility made him one of the most accomplished writers of the Postmodernism Movement. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania (Academy of Achievement). Updike grew up with psoriasis and a stuttering problem, which caused him to feel isolated and lonely during his childhood (The Independent). He used drawing as an outlet, which sparked his interest in cartooning (TIME) and his dream of being a cartoonist for the New Yorker (Encyclopedia for World Biography). Updike excelled in high school, leading him to attend Harvard University, where he wrote and drew cartoons for its humor magazine, Harvard Lampoon (Academy of Achievement). After graduating from Harvard, he attended Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford for a year, but then moved back to the United States and accomplished his dream of working for the New Yorker. However, after writing “Talk of the Town” columns for two years, Updike gave up his dream job and moved to rural Massachusetts in order to write his own stories (Encyclopedia for World Biography). For the rest of his life, Updike produced a work almost every year (TIME), which included novels, short stories, poems, children’s books, essays, and literary criticisms (The Independent). Updike died of lung cancer at the age of 76 on January 27, 2009 (Academy of Achievement). Updike was most famous for his “Rabbit” series, which included five novels about Rabbit Angstrom, a middle-class man who exemplified spiritual and cultural problems of his generation (TIME). Two of the novels, Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1991) both received Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction, which made Updike only the third American to win two Pulitzer Pri... ... middle of paper ... ...Quin.“Updike at Rest.” Spectator.org. The American Spectator, 29 Jan 2009. Web. 19 May 2010. “John Updike.” Achievement.org. Academy of Achievement. 11 August 2009. Web. 19 May 2010. “John Updike, Literary Heavyweight.” Time.com. TIME, 27 Jan. 2009. Web. 19 May 2010. “John Updike.” Notablebiographies.com. Encyclopedia for World Biography, 2010. Web. 19 May 2010. “John Updike: Writer who chronicles the poetry of everyday life in post-war Middle America.” Independent.co.uk. The Independent, 29 Jan. 2009. Web. 19 May 2010. “The American Novel: Postmodernism.” Pbs.org. American Masters, March 2007. Web. 19 May 2010. Updike, John. “Son.” Elements of Literature: Essentials of American Literature Fifth Course. Ed. Applebaum, Deborah, Kylene Beers, Leila Christenbury, Carol Jago, Sara Kajdar, Linda Rief. Austin, Texas: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2009. 1188. Print.

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