Emma Gilbey

Interview: John Updike

‘Both religious belief and sexual activity are ways of demonstrating that we are alive,’ declared John Updike in discussing the two main preoccupations of his new book, Roger’s Version. ‘The book is in place with The Scarlet Letter, it is about adultery as seen now rather than then.’

Updike has carefully structured an account of what he calls a dance between four characters, Roger Lambert the narrator, Esther his wife, Verna his niece and Dale Kohler – a young computer whizz-kid whose mission is to prove God’s existence through a computer at the University where Roger is Professor of Theology. What gave Updike the idea?

‘I have always enjoyed reading theology and take comfort in it against the alarming prospect of my own death and existence in the cosmic scheme.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'To be clever without wanting to glory in it, put dimmer people down or make an act of covering it up (viz Boris Jo… ,
    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,