NOVELIST JOHN UPDIKE PASSES

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John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.

Updike, a resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., died of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

A literary writer who frequently appeared on best seller lists, the tall, hawk-nosed Updike wrote novels, short stories, poems, criticism, the memoir “Self-Consciousness” and even a famous essay about baseball great Ted Williams.

An old-fashioned believer in hard work, he published more than 50 books in a career that started in the 1950s. Updike won virtually every literary prize, including two Pulitzers, for “Rabbit Is Rich” and “Rabbit at Rest,” and two National Book Awards.

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