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Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide


"Rabbit Is Rich" by John Updike



• MJ drops “Thriller”
• Wisconsin outlaws sex orientation discrimination
• The National Coalition for the Homeless is founded
• Viet Nam War Memorial, designed by Maya Lin



Like Rabbit Angstrom, John Updike was a white golfer who grew up in Pennsylvania.


Joyce Rivas, New Hope, PA
Pulitzer Book Club Founder

Featured Reader

“Read all Pulitzer Fiction Winners” was at the top of my bucket list when I turned 50. I was just about finished reading the last of the 66 winners when George Floyd was murdered. I wondered then what a nerd like me could do to help create an inclusive America. My answer is to encourage people to read Pulitzer Fiction winners for inclusion through the Pulitzer Book Club.

I grew up in the “Rabbit is Rich” environment – Suburban Philadelphia during the 1970s – and love to play golf, so I feel qualified to say “Rabbit is Rich” nails the despicable womanizing racist country clubber sleazy car salesman. “Rabbit is Rich” reads like an X-rated, literary “All in the Family.” Think satire with outrageous slurs and cringe-inducing humor, with the X-factor of explicit sex scenes, including a particularly memorable encounter involving Krugerrands.

“Rabbit is Rich” a book that makes you want to take a shower and challenges you to delete the awful bigoted imagery Updike burns into your brain. It’s by no means my favorite Pulitzer, but I’m glad I read it because it’s a constant voice in my head urging me to set a good example and be a good mom and an inclusive community member.

Joyce’s Inclusive Cause: The Animal Assisted Activity Program at Doylestown Hospital. Nobody is more eager to make friends with everyone than a therapy dog.


Bad behavior of bigoted womanizer suburban Philly WASP Toyota dealer


Partner swapping on a Caribbean vacation.


Yes, there is a Pulitzer Fiction winner featuring explicit sex and the portrayal of an outrageous, womanizer bigot.


544 pages or 19.5 listening hours of disgusting behavior served up as cringe-inducing satire that will make you laugh but feel guilty about doing that.


Kindness and self-control. Every judgy, nasty thing you say is an invitation for more of the same.


Satire of prejudiced, privileged white family behaving badly, complete with labeling, insults, judgement, avoidance, objectification.


Don’t bother to cook; play tennis. Channel Rabbit’s wife and slap down some cheese and crackers, frozen Chinese, or maybe some bologna made wholesome with lettuce from the garden.


Nelson, who has just used the slur “jungle bunny” says, “Dad, you’re really prejudiced. You should travel more.”


Country Club, Toyota dealership or bedroom.


How can bigotry be unlearned?
Why and how do distance and education change perspective?
What’s your response when you hear a slur?
What’s the appropriate way to interact with an adult child or spouse when they are making bad decisions?


Drive a high-end Toyota to Amish country in Lancaster, PA.


"Rabbit, Run" 1970


Preceded by “Rabbit, Run.” Followed by Pulitzer winner “Rabbit at Rest” and “Rabbit Redux” The John Updike Society

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