It Was Supposed to Be Updike
The famously cerebral and prolific writer Joan Didion appeared in Cleveland yesterday. But an even more famous and prolific writer (we'll leave it to others to decide the cerebral pecking order) was originally scheduled for that appearance: the late John Updike. We thought about him all day. As a form of tribute, we decided to select one of his books we've never read and add it to our reading list. We're taking suggestions from anyone who cares to offer them. Meanwhile, we plan to once more bug our friend Mike Gallagher (an accomplished writer himself) to dig out for our inspection that long-ago letter he received from Updike, an unfailingly polite response to Mike's invitation to come speak (he declined, citing the need to remain at his writing desk). I recall him reading it to me nearly 20 years ago, as I marveled over its faintly familiar, wholly alluring Updikean cadence.