American Centaur: An Interview with John Updike


On October 21, 1978, John Updike was in Zagreb, Croatia, at the invitation of the Writers’ Association of Croatia and the American Information Center. In the afternoon, he gave a lengthy interview to Zvonimir Radeljkovi? and Omer Hadžiselimovi?, professors of English who specialized in American literature at the University of Sarajevo. In it, Updike expounds on his writing process, his favorite novelists, and that year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, which went to Isaac Bashevis Singer (“It was a surprising choice. The Nobel Committee, once again, has surprised us all”). Updike’s novel “Marry Me” had come out the previous year, and he had just published “The Coup.” He had completed two of his four “Rabbit” novels.

The interview, entitled “American Centaur,” was published in 1979 in a Zagreb literary magazine called Književna Smotra. The English version appears here for the first time. more

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