John Updike

I’m stationed at roughly the 35-yard mark in the football-field newsroom at Bloomberg corporate headquarters in New York, neck-deep in flat-screen monitors and financial data, like a trader before the meltdown, when suddenly a mirage of tall, silver-haired sartorial flawlessness strides across my field of vision. Except it is no mirage; it’s the éminence grise of American letters, John Updike, making his way to the men’s room. In those days, a regular parade of public-TV-approved celebrities would file past my work pod, since Charlie Rose was taped in the TV studio on that same floor. But none made the impression that Updike did. His very bearing embodies a WASPy dignity that is somehow both above-it-all and quite vulnerable. He can hardly need the income at this point, yet, like Philip Roth, the guy just keeps cranking out the prose. His latest, The Widows of Eastwick (Knopf, $24.95), even managed to elicit an astute and carefully written review from Michiko Kakutani, which is an accomplishment in itself. For tonight’s Seattle Arts & Lectures presentation, he’ll be interviewed by David Guterson and Seattle Art Museum curator Patricia Junker. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 621-2230, www.lectures.org. $10–$50. 7:30 p.m. MARK D. FEFER

Wed., Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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