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Published: Thursday, 8/9/2001

Authors! Authors! books Updike

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

John Updike, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, and Susan Stamberg, radio journalist, are among the luminaries in the upcoming season of Authors! Authors!

Stamberg, a National Public Radio broadcaster for 30 years, takes the podium Sept. 19. Clifton Taulbert, a Southern writer, follows on Oct. 16. Updike talks on Nov. 11; film critic Michael Medved on March 21; social activist Jonathan Kozol on April 19, and Bebe Moore Campbell, who has won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, speaks May 17.

The Authors! Authors! lecture series is sponsored by The Blade and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Events are held at 7 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater Great Hall, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.

Updike's latest publication is Americana and Other Poems. He's best known for his series of four novels, spread over 30 years, about Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, said to be an alter-ego character of the author. Two of the Rabbit books won Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction, in 1982 and 1990. The Centaur was honored with the 1964 National Book Award for Fiction.

Updike is a Harvard graduate who lives on the Massachusetts coast north of Boston. An avid golfer, he wrote Golf Dreams in 1996. He once said, “No other game [lest it be polo] is as thoroughly associated with capitalism and its oppression as golf.” He said he plays golf to get away from writing and literary politics.

He edited The Best American Short Stories of the Century, selecting its 55 pieces from a sampling of 200 stories.

His Witches of Eastwick was made into a 1987 film starring Jack Nicholson as a raffish character who gave three bored housewives, (played by Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer), exactly what they were looking for.

Stamberg's warm voice and easy laughter helped National Public Radio's All Things Considered become a popular national news program. She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1996. Stamberg, of Washington, D.C., has written several books including NPR's Susan Stamberg Considers All Things in 1993.

Taulbert, of Tulsa, Okla., appeared on the literary scene in 1989 with his memoir, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored, about life in a segregated Mississippi town. It was made into a motion picture. His acclaimed 1997 novel, Watching the Crops Come In, is about family life on the Mississippi Delta.

Medved is chief film critic for the New York Post and the Sunday Times of London. He is a regular on several television programs and has authored seven books, including Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence (1988), Hollywood vs. America (1992), and The Shadow Presidents (1979).

National Library Week features Kozol, an advocate for disadvantaged children. Kozol, of Boston, created a stir with his 1967 Death At An Early Age.

He has been described as a liberal educational theorist. His 1991 book, Savage Inequities: Children in America's Schools detailing the tremendous differences between schools in low-income and high-income neighborhoods, is required reading at many colleges.

Campbell, of Los Angeles, is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, Ebony, and other periodicals. Published this year is What I Owe You, a novel about the friendship between African-Americans and Jews in America after World War II. She also wrote bestsellers Brothers and Sisters (1994) and Singing in the Comeback Choir (1998).



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