John Updike giving the 2008 Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Found via USAsearch.gov]. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The John Updike Society has signed an agreement to buy for $200,000 the late author’s childhood home in Shillington, Pa.
James Plath, president of the 250-member society, said in a press release Wednesday that the agreement is contingent upon receiving a zoning variance to operate the house as a historic site.
Updike lived in the two-story home at 117 Philadelphia Ave. for the first 13 years of his life before moving to a family homestead in Plowville.
The author, who died in 2009, was heralded for his literary style and prolific output, including the four “Rabbit” novels, which often evoked Berks County places and geography. The last two, “Rabbit is Rich” in 1981 and “Rabbit at Rest” a decade later, won Pulitzer Prizes for fiction.
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where Mike O’Pake graduated from, was bequeathed $2 million dollars. The use of this gift was left to the discretion of the university.
Alvernia University, in Reading, will be the repository for the senator’s entire political memorabilia collection, which chronicles his 42-year career in politics. Eventually the collection will be made public for use by students, scholars and for viewing by the public. Alvernia University was also entrusted with the archives of Shillington native and world-famous author John Updike. Alvernia University said it was “humbled” to be entrusted with the senator’s collection.
Alvernia is slated to receive money from the senator’s estate. However, the amount is unclear at this time. Also in the senator’s will are the Jesuit Center in Wernersville and St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Reading. What ever money remains, after all other bequests and bills are paid, is to be split between these three institutions. Senator O’Pake’s properties and their contents were bequeathed to a caretaker of a disabled family member.