Posts Tagged: Joyce Carol Oates
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How to Write John Updike's Deathbed

A couple of weeks ago, Adam Begley was in town to publicize his biography of John Updike, which is, as Louis Menand put it, “an extended essay in biographical criticism, an insight into the man through the work and the work through the man.”

I’d intended to talk to Begley, who I’ve known for years, about a scene towards the book’s end. Updike is dying at home, surrounded by his wife, Martha, and ex-wife, Mary. It’s a vividly rendered paragraph and I wondered: Had Begley been present?

He was still at home when Mary telephoned Martha and said she’d like to come see her ex-husband. Martha suggested that [...]

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Joyce Carol Oates On Ted Kennedy

Joyce Carol Oates, whose 1992 novel Black Water was based on the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick, looks at the legacy of Ted Kennedy. She asks, "if one weighs the life of a single young woman against the accomplishments of the man President Obama has called the greatest Democratic senator in history, what is one to think?" It's not an easy question.