Arts, Culture & Media

Geo answer

The late John Updike inspires today's Geo Quiz. Updike's many books and stories focused mostly on the American way of life.

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His "Rabbit" series of novels follow the exploits of a former high school basketball player in Pennsylvania.

The CoupThe CoupBut one of Updike's early novels was set in Africa. It was a political satire called The Coup.

It's set in a fictional African country...described as being in the "remotest and least profitable heart of Africa."

The narrator is an exiled Cold War era dictator.

He wanders around southern France trying to come to terms with his past...while Updike lampoons government dysfunction.

So what's the name of this fictional country in Africa that figures in Updike's 1978 novel?

And does it share a name with any real places in the world?

That's the question for you to ponder in today's Geo Quiz.

Our Geo Quiz asked you to name a fictional African state that figures in John Updike's 1978 novel, The Coup. The story is set in the fictional nation of Kush so that's the answer.

Kush is also the name of an ancient African civilization that predates the Egyptian pyramids.

This civilization thrived in a region around present-day Khartoum -- the capital of Sudan.
John UpdikeJohn Updike
But Updike may have had a DIFFERENT African nation in mind when he wrote The Coup.

It's NIGER -- where there was a REAL coup in 1974.

Updike -- who passed away yesterday -- visited Africa in 1973, on a Fulbright fellowship.

But -- on the whole -- his African experience was limited.

Updike admitted as much in an interview with Don Swaim at the CBS Radio studio in New York. John Updike speaking with Don Swaim in 1984.

"The Coup" was just one of the more than 50 books written by Updike.

The Pulitzer-Prize-winning author died yesterday of lung cancer at the age of 76.

Thanks to our colleagues at "Wired for Books" -- part of the WOUB "Center for Public Media" at Ohio University.