John Updike biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

John Updike
Photo: George Bush Presidential Library

John Updike

How to pronounce John Updike: JON UHP-DYK

John Updike Biography

John Hoyer Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1932. Up until the age of 13 he lived in Shillington, near Reading (where his father was a science teacher) before moving to Plowville, PA. As a child he suffered from psoriasis and stammered, but, with the encouragement of his mother, found an outlet in writing and reading - consuming mysteries by the likes of Erle Stanley Gardner, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr. He attended Harvard (which he chose because it was the home of the Harvard Lampoon - which he first contributed to, and later edited) where he majored in English. He once said, "My inability to read bravely as a boy had this advantage: when I went to college, I was a true tabula rasa, and received gratefully the imprint of my instructors' opinion, and got good marks."

He attended the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts in Oxford, England for a year between 1954-55, and then joined the staff of The New Yorker writing editorials, poetry, stories and criticism. Since the age of 23 he supported himself by writing. He was the father of four children and author of more than 50 books including novels, collections of short stories, poems and criticism. He won many awards including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.

Partial Bibliography

  • Harry Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy (Rabbit Run, 1960; Rabbit Redux, 1971; Rabbit Is Rich, 1981; Rabbit at Rest, 1990).
  • Henry Bech stories: Bech: A Book, 1970; Bech Is Back, 1982; Bech At Bay, 1998.
  • The Poorhouse Fair, 1959
  • The Centaur, 1963
  • Of the Farm, 1965
  • Couples, 1968
  • A Month of Sundays, 1975
  • Marry Me: A Romance, 1977
  • The Coup, 1978
  • Your Lover Just Called, 1980
  • The Witches of Eastwick, 1984
  • Roger's Version, 1986
  • More Stately Mansions, 1987
  • S, 1988
  • Memories of the Ford Administration, 1992
  • Brazil, 1994
  • In the Beauty of the Lilies, 1996
  • Toward the End of Time, 1997
  • Gertrude and Claudius, 2000
  • Seek My Face, 2002
  • Villages, 2004
  • Terrorist, 2006



This bio was last updated on 04/03/2013. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by John Updike at BookBrowse
My Father's Tears jacket The Widows of Eastwick jacket Due Considerations jacket Terrorist jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for John Updike but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Martin Amis

    Martin Amis

    The road to publication for Martin Amis' latest novel, The Zone of Interest, has been less smooth than might be imagined, given that Amis is one of the stars of the British literary firmament. The New York Times recently ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Terrorist

    Try:
    House of Meetings
    by Martin Amis

  • John Banville

    John Banville

    John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He was educated at a Christian Brother's school and St Peter's College in Wexford. After leaving college he worked for Aer Lingus in Dublin, Ireland - which gave him the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    My Father's Tears

    Try:
    The Sea
    by John Banville

We recommend 15 similar authors

View all 15 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.