I take time off today to say goodbye to John Updike. Until his death on January 27, 2009 of lung cancer, I considered him as the best living American writer. I have particular affection to his Henry Bech series, a body of short fiction about a Jewish writer whom Updike patterned after himself and various American authors. My copies of the Bech series are often with me in out-of-town trips. I've read them on airports, planes, seaports, ships, taxis, on the metrorail, everywhere where I can find time to read the stories over and over again.
Goodbye Updike. Bech is dead. Long Live Bech.