John Updike’s Rabbit, Harry Angstrom, has been powdered ashes in a Bakelite box for more than ten years now. But the faithless old ne’er-do-well and charmer, downhill all the way from his high-school basketball days, has magic yet to conjure with, from the grave, in the fifth Rabbit novel about Updike’s American times. There’s no halo over the self-centered old showboat–who his son Nelson thought was “narcissistically impaired.” Yet there’s more than just the aura of memory around Harry: he’s a real ghost, clicking off practice chip shots under Nelson’s window in the gray-blue moonlight….
Rabbit’s still bugging Ronnie Harrison, whom he beat out in basketball and in the bedroom game-no matter that Ronnie has married Rabbit’s widow. In “Rabbit Remembered” he has dispatched from the grave a real daughter Annabelle that almost nobody new he had as an emissary and a balm for the world he left behind. Rabbit lives this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Author John Updike. His new book is entititled, “Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, ‘Rabbit Remembered.'”