LAST WORDS

John Updike's Last Poems

Endpoint and Other Poems, the late John Updike's much-anticipated collection, is out today. While books about death are pervasive, the Los Angeles Times points out that there are surprisingly few authors who have dared to write about their own experiences dying. Raymond Carver's 1988 book, A New Path to the Waterfall—which he completed days before he died—and Janet Hobhouse’s The Furies, which chronicles her battle with cancer in 1991, are among the few great works about approaching mortality. Asks Los Angeles Times’ David L. Ulin: “So why, I wonder, aren’t more writers compelled to tell us what it’s like when the inevitable arrives?”