The Prolific John Updike

Which author wrote the 1984 novel The Witches of Eastwick, and is only one of three authors to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, more than once?

And the answer: John Updike.

American author John Updike won the Pulitzer in 1982 for his novel Rabbit is Rich and again in 1991 for his novel Rabbit at Rest. He also received the National Medal of Arts in 1989.

Over the course of his lifetime, Updike published more than 20 novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books. It is said that he averaged a book a year. After graduating from Harvard, Updike began his authorial career at The New Yorker, publishing hundreds of reviews, stories and poems.

Updike’s famous “Rabbit” series, beginning with Rabbit, Run and ending with Rabbit at Rest, follows the life of a middle-class man from adulthood to death. Updike often insisted that his subject was "the American small town, Protestant middle class". He reasoned:

"I like middles. It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules."

Ultimately, it was Updike’s honest yet raw, funny yet poignant writing on the American middle class that won him two separate Pulitzer prizes for his “Rabbit” series. Check out his New Yorker contributions here.


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