Letter: John Updike Wonders What a She-Male Is


Feeling self-conscious about your limited vocabulary? Don’t sweat it. Even literary superstars occasionally encounter words they don’t know. Take, for instance, John Updike. The author of the Rabbit books wrote to thank a bookstore manager for sending his order and mentioned that he was confused about some of the terms from the newspaper it was wrapped in — the Village Voice escort section. “Tell me,” writes Updike, “what is a ‘she-male’ (they looked female to me, mostly) and what does ‘Outcalls Only’ mean?” Whether this was pure humor or genuine curiosity, it kind of makes our day. See the typewritten note after the jump.

[via Letters of Note]