The John Updike Society, which owns and operates The John Updike Childhood Home, plans on holding programs on the life and literature of John Updike and on different aspects of the house’s rich history and inhabitants—including Howard Shilling, son of Shillington founder Samuel Shillington and one of the citizens responsible for organizing the Borough. Programs in the near future may include a non-stop reading of the Rabbit quartet during Banned Books Week; a “Favorite Updike” reading by students, faculty, childhood friends and neighbors on Updike’s birthday; and on-site educational programs for school field trips. Contact Education Director Maria Mogford if you are interested in working with her on a combined visit and activity/reading assignment/program, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The John Updike Childhood Home presently has paperback copies of his first major Berks County novel, Rabbit, Run, which was recently chosen by Entertainment Weekly as the novel that best captures the spirit and character of Pennsylvania. Be warned that the content is for mature audiences only, but these books are available to be checked out by local book clubs and community groups so that their members can read the novel . . . then discuss it right in the house where Updike said his “artistic eggs were hatched.” The house has comfortable folding chairs, and even during the restoration process we will find a room to accommodate your group. Contact Dr. Mogford (email@example.com) if your group would like to take advantage of this offer. In the future, the John Updike Society plans to buy copies of Updike’s other Pennsylvania fictions to loan to reading groups as well. Let us know what Updike books you’re hoping to read and discuss next!