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This article considers the central preoccupations and modus operandi of the American writer John Updike as an essayist with personal, autobiographical intent. Best known in the American canon for his many works of fiction, he produced nonfiction in equal measure over the course of his lengthy career. His far-ranging critical reviews and topical, discursive writings have occupied pride of place in the most prominent periodicals of our times and have garnered much critical and popular attention. Yet his specifically self-referential essays, especially those composed in the final years of his life, deserve closer notice for the ways in which they reveal a survival impulse that speaks to the willing vulnerability not only of Updike, but of all who write about themselves.
Mazzeno, L. and Norton, S. (2016). Thirty-Six-Point Perpetua: John Updike's Personal Essays in the Later Years. Irish Journal of American Studies, Issue 5, 2016