John Updike - Author

About the Author

Books by John Updike

Villages

Villages

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Owen Mackenzie's life story abounds with sin and seduction, domesticity and debauchery. His marriage to his college sweetheart is quickly followed by his first betrayal and he embarks upon a series of affairs. His pursuit of happiness, in a succession of small towns from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, brings him to the edge of chaos, from which he is saved by a rescue that carries its own fatal price.

Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2015

A post-humous, autobiographical collection of poetry from John Updike, one of the most celebrated American writers of the twentieth cenury and author of modern classic novel Rabbit, Run Updike had a boundless capacity for curiosity and delight. This collection of poems from across his career displays his extraordinary range in form and subject: from metaphysical epigrams, and lyrical odes to blank-verse sonnets, on topics from Roman busts to Lucian Freud to postage stamps. These poems are nimble and inventive, exploring art, science, popular culture, foreign travel, erotic love, growth, decay and rebirth. Collected in chronological order, from precocious undergraduate efforts to frequently anthologized classics, this is an autobiography in verse for every Updike fan and a celebration of twentieth century American life.

More Matter Essays And Criticism

More Matter Essays And Criticism

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2014

More Matter is a collection of John Updike's best-loved critical essays and reflections. From the journals of John Cheever to the Queen of England, More Matter is a lively discussion on contemporary art, issues and people, told from the inimitable perspective of Pulitzer prizewinner John Updike. Wide ranging, incisive, witty and always superbly written, it has something to say about almost everyone - from Graham Greene to Bill Gates to Mickey Mouse - and everything - from sexual politics to spiritual matters to unopenable packages. It provides any number of intimate glimpses into how this remarkable mind works. Praise for More Matter: 'Unlike most journalism, Updike's occasional writing is so exquisite as to repay multiple readings' Publishers Weekly 'More Matter attests to Mr. Updike's remarkable versatility and to his ardent drive to turn all his observations into glittering, gossamer prose. . . . In his strongest pieces, Mr. Updike's awesome pictorial powers of description combine with a rigorous, searching intelligence to produce essays of enormous tactile power and conviction' New York Times 'More Matter will leave even his closest followers amazed. . . . Updike can write about anything, in any form and at any length, and do it with intelligence and knowledge and grace and agility and wit-and oh, the prose' Pittsburgh Tribune Review John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.

Olinger Stories

Olinger Stories

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/09/2014

In an interview, Updike once said, If I had to give anybody one book of me, it would be the Olinger Stories. These stories were originally published in The New Yorker and then in various collections before Vintage first put them together in one volume in 1964, as a paperback original. They follow the life of one character from the age of ten through manhood, in the small Pennsylvania town of Olinger (pronounced, according to Updike, with a long O and a hard G), which was loosely based on Updike's own hometown. All the stories draw from the same autobiographical well, Updike explained, the only child, the small town, the grandparental home, the move in adolescence to a farm. The selection was made and arranged by Updike himself, and was prefaced by a lovely 1,400-word essay by the author that has never been reprinted in full elsewhere until now.

Foreword

Foreword

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 06/03/2014

John Updike's fictional antihero, Henry Bech, could not be more different from his creator. A self-confessed composite of Norman Mailer and J.D. Salinger, he cannot help but flatter himself. In this 'foreword' Updike presents us with a conceited and satirical manifestation of what it means to be an American and a writer.

Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism

Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/05/2013

Higher Gossip presents John Updike's last collection of essays, poems and short stories.'Gossip of a higher sort' was how the incomparable John Updike described the art of the review. Here then is the last collection of his best, most dazzling gossip. Influential reviews of Toni Morrison, John le Carre and Ann Patchett and expert critique on exhibitions of El Greco, Van Gogh and Schiele are included alongside previously uncollected short stories, poems and essays on his 'pet topics'. Following earlier prose collections More Matter and Due Considerations, Updike began compiling Higher Gossip shortly before his death in 2009. Displaying his characteristic humour and insight on subjects as varied as ageing, golf, dinosaurs, make-up and his own fiction, the delightful Higher Gossip bookends a legacy of over fifty celebrated titles.Praise for Higher Gossip:'All illuminating cross-section of his whole career. It will be required reading for Updike's many fans, but it also serves as an excellent pick'n'mix introduction to his omnivorous intellectual range' Daily Telegraph'Measured, erudite, and humorous writings' Boston Globe'Updike was that rare creature: an all-around man of letters, a literary decathlete who brought to his criticism an insider's understanding of craft and technique; a first-class appreciator of talent . . . an ebullient observer [with] a contagious, boyish sense of wonder' Michiko Kakutani, New York TimesJohn Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.Christopher Carduff, the editor of this volume, is a member of the staff of The Library of America.

Buchanan Dying

Buchanan Dying

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/04/2013

Always Looking Essays on Art

Always Looking Essays on Art

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/12/2012

Following on from the acclaimed Just Looking and Still Looking, Always Looking is an insightful collection of art criticism and a masterclass in appreciating art - from the great American man of letters, John Updike.Always Looking treats readers to a series of elegant and sensitive essays on art, and includes writing on a comprehensive array of subjects, both American and European. In 'The Clarity of Things', Updike looks closely at Copley, Homer, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop, in order to explore what is 'American' in American art. From here he moves to masterpieces of American and European art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries -- from the sublime landscapes of Frederic Church and the series paintings of Monet and Degas, to the verbal-visual puzzles of Magritte and the steely sculptural environments of Richard Serra. With more than two-hundred full-colour reproductions, Always Looking is an invitation to see the world afresh through the eyes of John Updike, a matchless connoisseur.'Our time's greatest man of letters - as brilliant a literary critic and essayist as he was a novelist and short-story writer. His death constitutes a loss to our literature that is immeasurable'Philip Roth'He was a modern master, a colossal figure in American letters, the finest writer working in English. He dazzled us with his interests and intellectual curiosity, and he turned a beautiful sentence' Ian McEwan'Updike was that rare creature: an all-around man of letters, a literary decathlete who brought to his criticism an insider's understanding of craft and technique; a first-class appreciator of talent, capable of describing other artists' work with nimble, pictorial brilliance; an ebullient observer, who could bring to essays about dinosaurs or golf or even the theory of relativity a contagious, boyish sense of wonder' Michiko Kakutani, New York TimesJohn Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.Christopher Carduff, the editor of this volume, is a member of the staff of The Library of America. He is also the editor of Higher Gossip, a collection of John Updike's essays and criticism.

Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism

Higher Gossip Essays and Criticism

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2012

'Gossip of a higher sort' was how the incomparable John Updike described the art of the review. Here then is the last collection of his best, most dazzling gossip. Influential reviews of Toni Morrison, John le Carre and Ann Patchett and expert critique on exhibitions of El Greco, Van Gogh and Schiele are included alongside previously uncollected short stories, poems and essays on his 'pet topics'. Following earlier prose collections More Matter and Due Considerations, Updike began compiling Higher Gossip shortly before his death in 2009. Displaying his characteristic humour and insight on subjects as varied as ageing, golf, dinosaurs, make-up and his own fiction, the delightful Higher Gossip bookends a legacy of over fifty celebrated titles.This is essential reading for admirers of the deeply missed John Updike, and for any who profess a love for art and literature.

My Father's Tears and Other Stories

My Father's Tears and Other Stories

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/2010

John Updike was a master storyteller, and this collection, from his final years, reveals that up to the end he remained the finest short-story writer of his generation. 'Magnificent, exhilarating, crisply evocative, rippling with irony. Updike's genius can be seen on peak form. With this book, a talent that burnt brightly goes out in a blaze of brilliance' Sunday Times 'A haunting valedictory alive with characteristic preoccupations: small-town life; domestic duplicity ; travel; aging rituals; and the transience of existence. This is a collection filled with nuanced observations, descriptive flair and sentences that stop you in your tracks' Metro

Endpoint and Other Poems

Endpoint and Other Poems

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/05/2010

John Updike was always as much a poet as a storyteller and the poems in this, his final collection, celebrate the everyday, even as they address his own imminent mortality. It is in the connected series of poems, Endpoint, written on his last few birthdays and culminating with the illness that killed him, that Updike's work is at its most touching and poignant.

Ace in the Hole

Ace in the Hole

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Bulgarian Poetess

Bulgarian Poetess

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Family Meadow

Family Meadow

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Your Lover Just Called

Your Lover Just Called

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Snowing in Greenwich Village

Snowing in Greenwich Village

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Persistence of Desire

Persistence of Desire

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Orphaned Swimming Pool

Orphaned Swimming Pool

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Man Who Loved Extinct Mammals

Man Who Loved Extinct Mammals

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Lifeguard

Lifeguard

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Killing

Killing

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Gesturing

Gesturing

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 11/08/2009

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

The Widows of Eastwick

The Widows of Eastwick

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/06/2009

When the three witches - now old, remarried and widowed - decide to go back to Eastwick to spend a summer together, many things have changed. Darryl Van Horne is gone. Their husbands and lovers have gone. The lithe and supple bodies with which they wrecked marriages and wreaked havoc many years before have gone - and have been replaced with the quiet aches and encumbrances of age. But a chemistry still crackles between the three and magic still lingers in the Eastwick air, and soon it becomes clear that there are those around them who remember them, and wish them ill. The Widows of Eastwick takes the mischief and enchantment of The Witches of Eastwick and reshapes it in a new emotional landscape, resulting in a sensitive study of the passing of youth and a darkly funny novel that shines with luminous sexual reminiscences and satirical observations about modern America.

The Maples Stories

The Maples Stories

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/06/2009

In 1956 John Updike wrote a short story about newly-weds Joan and Richard Maple. Over the next two decades he returned to this couple again and again, tracking their years together as they raise children and deal with the heartbreak of infidelity and estrangement. Gathered here for the first time in hardcover - and with the addition of a later story, 'Grandparenting', that shows us the Maples after their divorce - THE MAPLES STORIES offers a nuanced portrait of two deeply flawed but moving characters and their entwined lives. 'Though the Maples stories trace the decline and fall of a marriage, they also illumine a history in many ways happy, of growing children and a million mundane moments shared. That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing really succeeds. The moral of these stories is that all blessings are mixed.' - From the Foreword by John Updike

Rabbit Redux

Rabbit Redux

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 27/01/2009

A triumph.NEWSDAYThe assumptions and obsessions that control our daily lives are explored in tantalizing detail by master novelist John Updike in this wise, witty, and sexy story. Harry Angstrom--known to all as Rabbit, one of America's most famous literary characters--finds his dreary life shattered by the infidelity of his wife, Janice. How he resolves or further complicates his problems makes for a novel of the first order.

Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 23/12/2008

Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of hisor any othergeneration. Its hero is Harry ';Rabbit' Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification and family dutyeven, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine Grace. Though his flight from home traces a zigzag of evasion, he holds to the faith that he is on the right path, an invisible line toward his own salvation as straight as a ruler's edge.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Marry Me

Marry Me

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2008

Sally is big, blonde and pampered. She's married to Richard. But she loves Jerry. Jerry loves Sally in return, but he's also still in love with his wife Ruth. Who's been sleeping with Richard ... As a hot, feverish summer of snatched weekends, secret phone calls and illicit lovemaking on the beach comes to a head, it turns out everyone knows more than they've been letting on. And that no one knows quite when to stop.

Of the Farm

Of the Farm

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2007

Of the Farm recounts Joey Robinson's visit to the farm where he grew up and where his mother now lives alone. Accompanied by his newly acquired second wife, Peggy, and an eleven-year-old stepson, Joey spends three days reassessing and evaluating the course his life has run. But for Joey and Peggy, the delicate balance of love and sex is threatened by a dangerous new awareness.

The Centaur

The Centaur

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2007

In a small Pennsylvania town in the late 1940s, schoolteacher George Caldwell yearns to find some meaning in his life. Alone with his teenage son for three days in a blizzard, Caldwell sees his son grow and change as he himself begins to lost touch with his life. Interwoven with the myth of Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur is one of John Updike's most brilliant and unusual novels.

The Women Who Got Away

The Women Who Got Away

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2007

In the small town of Pierce Junction adultery is the popular pastime and pillow talk the common currency. Martin knows the women he hasn't yet seduced hold his attention for the longest, and Winifred, married to his own wife's lover, stirs him in ways he never expects. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...

Terrorist

Terrorist

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2007

In his extraordinary and highly charged new novel, John Updike tackles one of America's most burning issues - the threat of Islamist terror from within. Set in contemporary New Jersey, Terrorist traces the journey of one young man, from radicalism to fundamentalism to terrorism, against the backdrop of a fraying urban landscape and an increasingly fragmented community. In beautiful prose, Updike dramatizes the logic of the fundamentalist terrorist - but also suggests ways in which we can counter it, in our words and our actions . . .

A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/02/2007

Updike's seventh novel concerns a month of seven days, a month of enforced rest and recreation as experienced by the Reverend Tom Marshfield, sent west from his Midwestern church in disgrace.

Couples

Couples

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/02/2007

An intoxicating yet sensitive novel about the sexual experiences of ten couples from Tarbox, New England. Well-to-do, sociable, articulate but dangerously unfulfilled; they play word games in the evening and adultery all year round.

Memories of the Ford Administration

Memories of the Ford Administration

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/02/2007

When a history professor - Alfred Clayton, the hero of John Updike's fifteenth novel - is asked to record his impressions of the Ford Administration, he recalls a turbulent piece of personal history as well: his unfinished book on 19th-century president James Buchanan.

The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/02/2007

The air of Eastwick breeds witches - women whose powerful longings can stir up thunderstorms and fracture domestic peace. Jane, Alexandra and Sukie, divorced and dangerous, have formed a coven. Into the void of Eastwick breezes Darryl Van Horne, a charismatic magus of a man who entrances the trio, luring them to his mansions...

Brazil

Brazil

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/10/2006

Tristao Raposo, a nineteen-year old black child of the Rio slums, spies Isabel Leme, an eighteen-year-old upper-class white girl, across the hot sands of Copacabana Neach, and presents her with a ring. Their flight into marriage takes them from urban banality to the farthest reaches of Brazil's wild west....

Toward the End of Time

Toward the End of Time

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/10/2006

Ben Turnbull is a 66 year-old retired investment consultant living north of Boston in the year 2020. A recent war between the United States and China has thinned the population and brought social chaos. Nevertheless, Ben's life, traced by his journal entries over the course of the year, retains much of its accustomed comforts. Something of a science buff, he finds his personal history cuaght up in the dysjunctions and vagaries of the 'many universes'; his identity branches into variants extending back through history and ahead in the evolution of the universe, as both it and his own mortal, nature-shrouded existence move toward the end of time ...

The Coup

The Coup

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/10/2006

Nothing in his previous life could have prepared Colonel Hakim Felix Ellellou for his new role as the President of Kush. Neither the French army nor his American university provided a grounding in the subtle skills of revolutionary dictatorship. Still less did they expect him to acquire four wives...

The Complete Henry Bech

The Complete Henry Bech

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/09/2006

From his birth in 1923 to his belated paternity and public apotheosis as a spry septuagenarian in 1999, Bech plugs away, globetrotting in the company of foreign dignitaries one day and schlepping in tattered tweeds on the college lecture circuit the next. By turns cynical and naive, wry and avuncular, and always amorous, he is Updike's most endearing confection-a Lothario, a curmudgeon, and a winsome literary icon all in one. A perfect forum for Updike's limber prose, The Complete Henry Bech is an arch portrait of the literary life in America from an incomparable American writer. Since tales of his exploits began appearing in The New Yorker more than thirty years ago, Henry Bech, John Updike's playfully irreverent alter-ego, has charmed readers with his aesthetic dithering and his seemingly inexhaustible libido.

Rabbit, Run

Rabbit, Run

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

The first book in his award-winning 'Rabbit' series, John Updike's Rabbit, Run contains an afterword by the author in Penguin Modern Classics. It's 1959 and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, one time high school sports superstar, is going nowhere. At twenty-six he is trapped in a second-rate existence - stuck with a fragile, alcoholic wife, a house full of overflowing ashtrays and discarded glasses, a young son and a futile job. With no way to fix things, he resolves to flee from his family and his home in Pennsylvania, beginning a thousand-mile journey that he hopes will free him from his mediocre life. Because, as he knows only too well, 'after you've been first-rate at something, no matter what, it kind of takes the kick out of being second-rate'. John Updike (1932-2009) was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year at Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of staff at The New Yorker. Updike was the author of twenty-one novels as well as numerous collections of short stories, poems and criticism, and is one of only three authors to win more than one Pulitzer Prize. His most famous works are the Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom series, all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics: Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990). If you enjoyed Rabbit, Run, you might like Don DeLillo's Americana, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'It is sexy, in bad taste, violent and basically cynical. And good luck to it' Angus Wilson, Observer 'That special polish, that brilliance; Updike is among the best' Malcolm Bradbury 'Brilliant and poignant ... By his compassion, clarity of insight, and crystal-bright rose, [Updike] makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own' Washington Post

The Poorhouse Fair

The Poorhouse Fair

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

At the Diamond County Home for the Aged, the inmates prepare for the annual ritual of the Poorhouse Fair, a summer celebration at which the old and infirm sell their produce on stalls to the people of the local town. Bitter, resentful and edging towards senility, the elderly residents of the Home take pride every year in the responsibility and self-respect they gain from this one day. But when the fair goes less well than the old folks had hoped, they are in no doubt who to blame: Conner, the new prefect of the home. Together, they begin to revolt against the younger man, and reassert their own independence.

The Complete Henry Bech

The Complete Henry Bech

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Henry Bech, the celebrated author of Travel Light, has been scrutinized, canonized and vilified by critics and readers across the world. Here, the experiences of this bemused literary icon, one of Updike's greatest creations, are described in hilarious detail, as he travels the world struggling to break his writer's block; returns to his native America to find new success with Think Big, his all-time blockbuster; and visits communist Czechoslovakia, where he is greeted by a dizzyingly adoring public. Brilliantly comic and deeply poignant, The Complete Henry Bech is one of the greatest of all explorations of the writing life and of what happens when an writer becomes a literary celebrity.

Roger's Version

Roger's Version

Author: John Updike, John Banville Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Middle-aged, brilliant and bored, Roger Lambert is a professor of Divinity at a New England university. Firmly convinced that religious belief can only justified by recourse to pure faith, he is dismissive when visited by a gangling student who claims, with evangelical zeal, that computer technology is on the brink of proving the existence of God. But when his unhappy wife flings herself into an affair with the younger man, and Roger's faith in his own placid life is thrown into question. With his marriage close to collapse, he finds himself increasingly drawn to his own half-niece, the nineteen-year-old Verna, in this cunning and comic exploration of religion, uncertainty and passion.

In the Beauty of the Lilies

In the Beauty of the Lilies

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Taking its title from the Battle Hymn of the Republic , IN THE BEAUTY OF THE LILIES traces one family's profound journey through four generations--and across the spiritual landscape of twentieth-century America. It is one of John Updike's fullest and finest work of fiction.

Rabbit is Rich

Rabbit is Rich

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

It's 1979 and Rabbit is no longer running. He's walking, and beginning to get out of breath. That's OK, though - it gives him the chance to enjoy the wealth that comes with middle age. It's all in place: he's Chief Sales Representative and co-owner of Springer motors; his wife, at home or in the club, is keeping trim; he wears good suits, and the cash is pouring in. So why is it that he finds it so hard to accept the way that things have turned out? And why, when he looks at his family, is he haunted by regrets about all those lives he'll never live?

Rabbit Redux

Rabbit Redux

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2006

It's 1969, and the times are changing. America is about to land a man on the moon, the Vietnamese war is in full swing, and racial tension is on the rise. Things just aren't as simple as they used to be - at least, not for Rabbit Angstrom. His wife has left him with his teenage son, his job is under threat and his mother is dying. Suddenly, into his confused life - and home - comes Jill, an eighteen-year-old runaway who becomes his lover. But when she invites her friend to stay, a young black radical named Skeeter, the pair's fragile harmony soon begins to fail ...

Villages

Villages

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/02/2006

Owen Mackenzie's life story abounds with sin and seduction, domesticity and debauchery. His marriage to his college sweetheart is quickly followed by his first betrayal and he embarks upon a series of affairs. His pursuit of happiness, in a succession of small towns from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, brings him to the edge of chaos, from which he is saved by a rescue that carries its own fatal price.

The Early Stories 1953-1975

The Early Stories 1953-1975

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2005

Gathering together almost all the short fiction that John Updike published between 1953 and 1975, this collection opens with Updike's autobiographical stories about a young boy growing up during the Depression in a small Pennsylvania town. There follows tales of life away from home, student days, early marriage and young families, and finally Updike's experimental stories on 'The Single Life'. Here, then, is a rich and satisfying feast of Updike - his wit, his easy mastery of language, his genius for recalling the subtleties of ordinary life and the excitements, and perils, of the pursuit of happiness.

John Updike Audio Collection

John Updike Audio Collection

Author: John Updike Format: eBook Release Date: 24/02/2004

The extraordinarily evocative stories depict the generation born in a small-town America during the Depression and growing up in a world where the old sexual morality was turned around and material comforts were easily had. Yet, as these stories reflect so accurately, life was still unsettling, and Updike chronicles telling moments both joyful and painful. The texts are taken from his recent omnibus, The Early Stories, 1953-1975.In describing how he wrote these stories in a small, rented, smoke-filled office in Ipswitch, Massachusetts, he says, "e;I felt that I was packaging something as delicately pervasive as smoke, one box after another, in that room, where my only duty was to describe reality as it had come to me -- to give the mundane its beautiful due."e;

Seek My Face

Seek My Face

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/01/2004

On a spring day in Vermont, seventy-nine-year-old painter Hope Chafetz tells the story of her life to Kathryn, a young interviewer from New York. Questions send Hope back to her youth, to the heady postwar days of American art and her relationships with the artists who defined their times. As the day wears on, Kathryn and Hope - interviewer and interviewee - try to understand one another across the gulf of age, experience and time that lies between them. And subtly, as each comes to know the other, their relationship changes ...

Licks of Love Short Stories And a Sequel, 'Rabbit Remembered'

Licks of Love Short Stories And a Sequel, 'Rabbit Remembered'

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2002

Collected with a dozen wonderful stories, all set in classic Updike territory, the short novel 'RABBIT REMEMBERED' is a major work in its own right - a riveting return to Updike's most celebrated fictional world. Janice and Nelson Angstrom, plus several other survivors of the irreducible Rabbit, fitfully entertain his memory while pursuing their own happiness over the edge of the millennium, as a number of old strands come together in entirely unexpected ways.

Gertrude And Claudius

Gertrude And Claudius

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2001

Using details of the ancient Scandinavian legends that were the inspiration for Hamlet, John Updike brings to life Gertrude's girlhood as the daughter of King Rorik, her arranged marriage to the man who becomes King Hamlet, and her middle-aged affair with her husband's younger brother. As only he could, Updike recasts a tale of medieval violence and presents the case for its central couple that Shakespeare only hinted at. Gertrude's warmth and lucidity, Claudius's soldierly yet peaceable powers of command are seen afresh against a background of fond intentions and familial dysfunction, on a stage darkened by the ominous shadow of a sullen, disaffected prince.

The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/03/2001

First assembled on paper in the fourteenth century, the eleven stories in The Mabinogion reach far back into the oral traditions of Welsh poetry. Closely linked to the Arthurian legends - King Arthur himself appears in one of the stories - they summon up a world of mystery and magic which is still evoked by the landscape so vividly described in them. Mingling fantasy with tales of chivalry, they prefigure the great romances of the Middle Ages but stand on their own merits as magnificent evocations of a golden age of Celtic civilization.

Basic Bech Bech a Book, Bech is Back

Basic Bech Bech a Book, Bech is Back

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/12/1999

Basic Bech combines two classic titles -- Bech: A Book and Bech is Back -- from one of John Updike's most beloved characters. Henry Bech, the celebrated author of Travel Light, has been scrutinized, canonized and vilified by reviewers, academics, critics and readers across the world. Suffering from temporary impotence and not-so-temporary writer's block, Bech finds renewed fame when he returns to his native America and Think Big, his all-time blockbuster, hits the shops . . . In these classic novels by John Updike, we return to a character as compelling and timeless as Rabbit Angstrom: the inimitable Henry Bech. Famous for his writer's block, Bech is a Jew adrift in a world of Gentiles. As he roams from one adventure to the next, he views life with a blend of wonder and cynicism that will make you laugh with delight and wince in recognition. Praise for John Updike: 'Our time's greatest man of letters - as brilliant a literary critic and essayist as he was a novelist and short-story writer. His death constitutes a loss to our literature that is immeasurable' Philip Roth 'Alert, funny, sensuous. Here is a writer who can do more or less as he likes' Martin Amis 'One of the most protean of American writers . . . For a writer whose prose can be so lush and hyper-charged, he has always been in contact with the material detritus of everyday life' The Times 'He was the ideal son of a platonic union between John Cheever and J.D. Salinger, with Nabokov attending the christening as fairy godfather' James Wood John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.

On Literary Biography

On Literary Biography

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/1999

In On Literary Biography , John Updike lays out his skeptical, yet generous, reflections on reading and writing about the lives of literary figures. Asking what satisfactions literary biography may offer readers, he decides that the first and perhaps the most worthy is in allowing us to continue and expand our acquaintance with an author who interests us, so that we may partake again, from another angle, of the joys we have experienced within the author's oeuvre . He tells of finding in a biography of Proust the solid details of what he had previously encountered through that writer's subjective sensibility, but he acknowledges that there can be other reasons for attending to the genre. If the reader is also a writer, a desire to learn the details of a fellow's craft may come into play. Or in a diagnostic mood , readers may seek to relate features of a writer's achievement to the psychological and physical circumstances in which it occurred. Some of us, some of the time, may also take pleasure in seeing the human flaws of writers exposed and in watching as the literary mentality is turned to show an unsavoury side. Updike calls one variant of the biography that uncovers person Declaring his own disinclinations to be the subject of biographical treatment, he imagines a biographer disturbing my children, quizzing my wife, seeking for Judases among my friends, rummaging through yellowing old clippings, quoting in extenso bad reviews I would rather forget, and getting everything slightly wrong . A particular apprehension he mentions is the frequency with which those who write about others misstate basic facts - an apprehension justified by the errors he is aware of in published assertions about his own life and background. Still, Updike's alertness to the risks of literary biography is yoked with the recognition that the genre can lead readers back to an author's works, if at times by a nether route , and that in improving our access to literature, it does perform useful work .

A Century of Arts and Letters The History of the National Institute of Arts & Letters and the American Academy of Arts & Letters as Told, Decade by Decade, by Eleven Members

A Century of Arts and Letters The History of the National Institute of Arts & Letters and the American Academy of Arts & Letters as Told, Decade by Decade, by Eleven Members

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/1998

Although the American Academy of Arts and Letters is best known for the awards and prizes it grants artists, writers, and musicians, the organization itself remains as little-understood as its awards are acclaimed. John Updike has brought together eleven current members-including Cynthia Ozick, Norman Mailer, and Louis Auchincloss-to raid the Academy's archives. With each writer taking on a decade of the Academy's history, they have created an eye-opening documentary of an organization central to the arts in America for the past century. R. W. B. Lewis writes of the admission of Julia Ward Howe in 1907 (at the age of 86) as the first woman in the Academy, and the intense debate about the very consideration of female members. Lewis also recounts the humorous saga of the feuding James brothers, with William declining membership and decrying the election several months prior to the nomination of his younger and shallower and vainer brother Henry. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., tells of the Academy's struggle against modernism in the 1930s-largely a one-man war waged by its feisty septuagenarian secretary, Robert Underwood Johnson-that resulted in a perennial failure to nominate F. Scott Fitzgerald and H. L. Mencken, among others. And composer Jack Beeson notes Gore Vidal's droll telegram declining an honorary membership on the grounds that he was already a member of the Diners Club.

Golf Dreams

Golf Dreams

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/1998

As a golfer for almost forty years, John Updike has written frequently about the game. This gathering of his pieces covers everything from the peculiar charms of bad golf and the satisfactions of an essentially losing struggle to the camaraderie of good golf and its own attendant perils.

In the Beauty of the Lilies

In the Beauty of the Lilies

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/1997

One hot afternoon in 1910, the Reverend Clarence Wilmot, standing in the rectory of the Fourth Presbyterian Church, experiences the last vestiges of his faith departing. True to this revelation, Clarence abandons the pulpit and becomes an encyclopedia salesman. What follows is the saga of the Wilmot family, one wandering tapestry thread within the American century. This is the story of Clarence's postman son, of his granddaughter, Esther, whose prayers are always answered and who becomes a twentieth century goddess, and of her son, in whom the passion that has long simmered, hidden in the corners of American life, comes to a boil.

Rabbit Angstrom A Tetralogy (Rabbit Run,Rabbit Redux,Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest)

Rabbit Angstrom A Tetralogy (Rabbit Run,Rabbit Redux,Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest)

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/1995

Newly revised by the author for this edition, and printed together in one volume for the first time, Updike's four Rabbit novels chronicle the history of a man and a nation from the 1950s to the 1980s. Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, athlete, is Mr Middle America. Dazzling in style, tender in feeling, often erotic in description and coruscating with realistic details which recreate a world in each novel, these books give a complete picture of their age.

A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays

Author: John Updike Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/1993

Banished to a desert retreat for recalcitrant clerics, the Reverend but randy Thomas Marshfield preens his fantasies. A Month of Sundays, written ad libidum as occupational therapy, is his confession and his testament. Interspersed with dazzling insights, bawdy wit and an intrigue of undelivered sermons, John Updike's book reveals with demonic zeal the very odour of a pastor adrift in modern America.

The Centaur

The Centaur

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/08/1970

In a small Pennsylvania town in the late 1940s, schoolteacher George Caldwell yearns to find some meaning in his life. Alone with his teenage son for three days in a blizzard, Caldwell sees his son grow and change as he himself begins to lost touch with his life. Interwoven with the myth of Chiron, the noblest centaur, and his own relationship to Prometheus, The Centaur is one of John Updike's most brilliant and unusual novels.