Sad news. John Updike, one of the most prolific authors of the last half century, has died at the age of 76. The cause was apparently lung cancer. Get the obit here.
In November, Updike published The Widows of Eastwick, a sequel to The Witches of Eastwick, the bestseller he wrote back in 1984. On his book tour, he stopped in for an interview with Michael Krasny, here in San Francisco, and they covered a wide range of issues — witches, sex, squirrels, oak trees, Rabbit Angstrom, his most famous character and how he died, and more. You can listen here.
As you probably know, Updike was a frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine since 1954. Today, they're highlighting a few of his pieces, including a 1960 reportage on Ted Williams' last game, a short story called Here Come the Maples (1976), and a 2006 essay called Late Works, which looks at writers and artists confronting the end.
Also, for good measure, we're adding a lengthy clip from 2006, which features Updike reading from his post 9-11 book, The Terrorist: A Novel.