I knew that someday I would find myself writing this essay. I just didn’t think it would be yet. If you’d put money on which American writer of the postwar generation would be blessed with longevity, proceeding deep into a svelte nonagenarianism while putting forth stories and novels packed with elegantly detailed reports on the experience, wouldn’t you have bet on John Updike?
He led a charmed life, after all—a beloved only child, son of...
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