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Updike on meeting authors

16 August 2004

'The meat of the matter is to be had sitting down and reading the books - not by meeting the author. When I was a young, aspiring writer I was thrilled to meet a boyhood idol of mine, James Thurber; I loved the way he both drew and wrote.

Thurber was quite blind by this time, and understandably self-centred, and he basically recited things I'd already read. He told all the same stories, so I came away less enchanted than if I'd never met him. So there's a risk you run when you meet your readers.'

John Updike, interviewed by Anthony Quinn in the Sunday Telegraph