The American Dostoevsky
I have read so much Updike, so many articles, so many collections of his criticism and journalism, and virtually all his many novels, that I sometimes think I know more about his thought processes than I do about my own. In his introduction to The Early Stories, 1953–1975, John Updike speaks candidly about his professional life. His inspiration, he says, has been drawn from life; he has always believed that ‘out there was where I belonged, immersed in the ordinary which careful explication would reveal to be the extraordinary’. And this, I think, gave him the leitmotif of his writing life and made him the writer he became.