NPR : Fresh Air

Revisiting John Updike's 'Fresh Air' Interviews

Play associated audio

These interviews were originally broadcast on March 17, 1988, March 16, 1989, and Oct. 14, 1997. You can listen to the original broadcasts in their entirety here.

John Updike would have turned 80 on March 18, 2012. To celebrate the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Random House is re-releasing some of his most recognizable works, including the Rabbit series. The publisher is also releasing e-book editions of Updike's entire back catalog, along with a posthumous essay collection, "Higher Gossip," which will appear in paperback for the first time.

Updike appeared on Fresh Air several times over the years. On Friday's show, excerpts from several of those interviews will be played.

Over his decades-long career, Updike authored more than 25 novels and over a dozen short story collections, as well as poems, essays and a memoir.

Updike won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1982 for his novel Rabbit is Rich and another Pulitzer in 1991 for Rabbit at Rest. He also received the National Book Award in 1964 for his novel The Centaur, which follows a depressed school teacher and his anxious son in rural Pennsylvania.

In 1998, Updike was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a lifetime achievement award issued by the National Book Awards. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009. He was 76.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
NPR

Trump Surrogate Tweets Cartoon Of Hillary Clinton In Blackface

Pastor Mark Burns mocked Hillary Clinton with a cartoon that read, in part, "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African Americans."
NPR

A Robot That Harms: When Machines Make Life Or Death Decisions

An artist has designed a robot that purposefully defies Isaac Asimov's law that "a robot may not harm humanity" — to bring urgency to the discussion about self-driving and other smart technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.