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John Updike

Sue Lawley's castaway is writer John Updike.

Sue Lawley's castaway on Desert Island Discs this week is the celebrated American writer John Updike. His novels include Rabbit Run (and three Rabbit follow-ups), Couples and The Witches of Eastwick.

He is both poet and historian, famous for charting the changes in post-war American society such as increasing marital breakdown and changing attitudes to death. He started his writing career by selling stories to the New Yorker magazine - something his mother had tried for years but had never succeeded. And he'll be telling Sue Lawley about how he overcame a bad stutter, how he has learnt to control his psoriasis and how now, aged 63, he finally feels normal; part of the gang he never was as a teenager.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Sing, Sing, Sing by The Benny Goodman Orchestra
Book: Complete Works by Marcel Proust
Luxury: Silken tent (for luxury, not survival)

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 15 Sep 1995 09:05

Music Played

  • Fats Waller

    You're Not The Only Oyster In The Stew

    • Honeysuckle Rose.
    • Decca.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

      Sing, Sing, Sing

      • All Time Greatest Hits.
      • CBS.
  • Doris Day

    With A Song In My Heart

    • Doris Day Through The Eyes Of Love.
    • Memoir.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 - Fugue in C major

    Soloist: Blandine Verlet

    • Le Clavier Bien Tempere.
    • Astree.
  • Original Trinidad Steel Band

    Yellow Bird

    • The Original Trinidad Steel Band.
    • Polydor Special.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major

    Soloist: Vladimir Ashkenazy Orchestra: The London Philharmonic Orchestra

    • Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 21 & 17.
    • Decca.
  • The Beatles

    Hey Jude

    • The Beatles 1967 - 1970.
    • Apple.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 5 in C minor

    Orchestra: The Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus Conductor: Otto Klemperer

    • Beethoven Symphonies No 5 & 8.
    • EMI.
  • Book Choice

    • Complete Works - Marcel Proust

  • Luxury Choice

    • Silken tent (for luxury, not survival)


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest John Updike


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