About the Series

I have always admired writers. Their work nourishes us and helps us mature, evaluate, and understand our emotions as well as the circumstances in which we find ourselves throughout our lives. They are our mentors, educators and soulmates who use their talents to shock, entertain, and enlighten us.

Because of a request to create a painting of William S. Burroughs, a writer of whom I was not an enthusiast, I have been given a chance to salute in paintings writers who I admire. I have narrowed the list down to American writers of the 20th century, many of whom are still alive and continue to amaze us with their stories, essays and books.

Throughout the next several months, I will be adding to the collection, and providing insights into the writers’ influences on me as well as their great accomplishments.

Hope you enjoy the portraits and stories.

George H. Rothacker

John Updike

John Updike by George H. Rothacker - acrylic on canvas -  24" x 24" - Original painting $2400, prints @$90 each plus tax and shipping (Prints are an edition of 50, signed, titled and numbered with an image area of 13"x 13").

John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.

Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books. His most famous work is his "Rabbit" series (the novels Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit at Rest; and the novella Rabbit Remembered), which chronicles the life of the middle-class everyman Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom over the course of several decades, from young adulthood to death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1982) and Rabbit at Rest (1990) were recognized with the Pulitzer Prize.

I came upon his writing in the 1970s, and was not enthralled with his signature novel "Rabbit Run," about a middle American lino type machine operator. I in fact dropped the book on my first reading, and then again on subsequent read after loving all of his subsequent “rabbit” novels. I particularly loved his use of language and his realization of himself as an imperfect human being who didn’t and couldn’t live up to his own standards of behavior.

His fiction is distinguished by its attention to the concerns, passions, and suffering of average Americans, its emphasis on Christian theology, and its preoccupation with sexuality and sensual detail. His work has attracted significant critical attention and praise, and he is widely considered one of the great American writers of his time.

John Updike
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