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LIVE from the NYPL: A Tribute to John Updike

March 19, 2009

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Colleagues, friends, and family of John Updike, who died January 27, will gather to pay tribute to a titan of American literature.

David Remnick, Sonny Mehta, Charles McGrath, Judith Jones, Roger Angell, Lorrie Moore, Adam Gopnik, Deborah Garrison, Ann Goldstein, ZZ Packer, and David Updike will honor John Updike's life with remembrances and readings from his work.

Updike, the author of more than sixty books?including twenty-two novels, fifteen short-story collections, seven collections of poetry, and five children?s books?was the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards. He is probably best remembered for his quartet of novels featuring Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the first of which, Rabbit, Run, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1960, and the last, Rabbit at Rest, published in 1990.

In his half century writing for The New Yorker, he contributed fiction, poetry, essays, and criticism to the magazine; more than seventy of his book reviews and essays are collected in ?Due Considerations.? Before he died, Updike delivered the manuscripts for three new books, all of which will be published before the end of this year.

This event is co-presented by Alfred A. Knopf and The New Yorker

photo of John Updike by Elena Seibert

About Roger Angell

Roger Angell has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1944 and is now a senior editor and staff writer at the magazine. His writing has appeared in many anthologies and has been collected in nine books, most recently Let Me Finish, a collection of his memoir writing.

About Deborah Garrison

Deborah Garrison is the author of The Second Child -- Poems and A Working Girl Can't Win. She worked on the editorial staff of The New Yorker for fifteen years and is the poetry editor of Alfred A. Knopf and a senior editor at Pantheon Books.

About Ann Goldstein

Ann Goldstein joined The New Yorker in 1974 and is the head of the copy department. She worked with John Updike on his critical pieces for more than twenty years.

About Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. He is the author of Paris to the Moon, The King in the Window, Through the Children?s Gate: A Home in New York, and, most recently, Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life.

About Judith Jones

Judith Jones is Senior Editor and Vice President at Alfred A. Knopf. She is the author of The Tenth Muse.

About Sonny Mehta

Sonny Mehta is Chairman and Editor in Chief of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which includes Alfred A. Knopf, Pantheon, Schocken, Everyman?s Library, Doubleday, Nan A. Talese, Vintage, Anchor, and Vintage Espa?ol; all are imprints of Random House, Inc.

About Charles McGrath

Charles McGrath is the former editor of the New York Times Book Review and a former editor at The New Yorker and contributes frequently to the New York Times Magazine, Golf Digest, and other publications.

About Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is the author of the short story collections, Self Help, Like Life, and Birds of America. Her novels are Anagrams and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Her work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, among others.

About ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer is the author of the short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, whose title story appeared in The New Yorker's 2000 Summer Fiction Issue. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2000 and 25 and Under: Fiction.

About David Remnick

David Remnick was named editor of The New Yorker in 1998. He is the author of Lenin's Tomb, Resurrection, The Devil Problem (and Other True Stories), King of the World, and, most recently, Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker. He has edited five anthologies of New Yorker pieces.

About David Updike

David Updike is a teacher of English at Roxbury Community College, in Boston. He has written several books, and a collection of short stories, Old Girlfriends, will be published in Summer 2009. He lives with his wife, Wambui, and son, Wesley, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.