How long has it been since John Updike died? A month? Six weeks? I remember that sinking feeling when I heard the news.
He was my very favorite author and I so loved the Rabbit books. Why I relate to Harry Angstrom, Rabbit's christian name, somewhat mystifies me. I think it's the fact that he never quite lands in life and that situations are always awkward and his timing is just off and he pinnacled as a high school basketball star -- which is when he earned the name Rabbit -- and things pretty much sucked after that.
That morning, I traipsed off to work and announced to my colleagues that John Irving had died. I startled them. John Irving, another of my very favorite authors, thankfully was not dead and still very much alive living in Massachusetts.
So I here I sit in my comfy bed and ruminate about John Updike, not Irving. I loved the Witches of Eastwick and I even like the film mostly because it was filmed in Cohasset, MA which is not too far from where I grew up. I think Updike captured a part of middle class society that resonates with my own upbringing -- comfortable, but not quite typical, in fact, as by daughter would say -- whacked. Peoples' egos were outsized as well as their insecurities. They trolled through life not quite connecting on any meaningful level.
His writing and storytelling were captivating to me. I will miss him, but thankfully he lives on through his stories.