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John Updike at Moravian

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John Updike at Moravian College

John Updike at Moravian College 1967
John Updike at Moravian College, 1967

A native of Berks County, Pennsylvania, John Updike was no stranger to Moravian College. After publishing several critically acclaimed novels, such as Rabbit, Run (1960) and The Centaur (1963), Updike was invited to Moravian to receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the College on October 19, 1967 in part of a program marking the dedication of the newly built Reeves Library.

Later, Moravian would again honor Mr. Updike in 1970 by becoming the first educational institution to offer a John Updike Course, which was developed by Dr. Lloyd Burkhart, professor of English and former department chairman.

In March of 1982, after publishing Rabbit is Rich, which won him his first Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, John Updike visited Moravian College for a second time to read samples of his poetry, as well as an excerpt from his latest novel, Bech Is Back (1982). Afterwards, Updike sat down with Moravian College’s Professor of English, Dr. George Diamond, in front of a packed house to discuss his writing. The full recording of this visit is available at Reeves Library. To listen to the second half of this visit where John Updike answers questions, please see bellow.