John Updike, one of the truly great authors of the last few decades, died yesterday at age 76. He had been battling cancer and passed away at a hospice near his home in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.
I'm no literature professor. Truth be told, I haven't read much fiction in my time. But I still think Updike must have been one of the best ever. Whenever I read something he wrote, here and there it seems like Updike the virtuoso is self-consciously showing off with a smirk on his face. And I don't mind. He's that good.
Not only that, he often takes up theological themes. The few novels and shorts stories that I've read make me think that Updike was convinced of what C.S. Lewis called "mere Christianity": basic, historic orthodoxy. It's no secret that he was influenced by the writings of Karl Barth. To read more about Updike's theology, check out the fine post over at Ben Myers' blog.
Have you read any of his stuff? What did you think? Any favorites?