Author: John Updike

Information about the author.

Works

Book:Rabbit Is Rich

Rabbit Is Rich

John Updike

The hero of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run (1960), ten years after the hectic events described in Rabbit Redux (1971), has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as Chief Sales Representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, the President collapses while running in a marathon, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national confidence. Nevertheless, Harry Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last—until his son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to his lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit’s middle age, as he continues to pursue, in his erratic fashion, the rainbow of happiness.

Book:Rabbit at Rest

Rabbit at Rest

John Updike

In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan’s debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live.

Book:Still Looking

Still Looking: Essays on American Art

John Updike

When, in 1989, a collection of John Updike’s writings on art appeared under the title Just Looking, a reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle commented, “He refreshes for us the sense of prose opportunity that makes art a sustaining subject to people who write about it.” In the sixteen years since Just Looking was published, he has continued to serve as an art critic, mostly for The New York Review of Books, and from fifty or so articles has selected, for this richly illustrated book, eighteen that deal with American art.

After beginning with early American portraits, landscapes, and the transatlantic career of John Singleton Copley, Still Looking then considers the curious case of Martin Johnson Heade and extols two late-nineteenth-century masters, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins. Next, it discusses the eccentric pre-moderns James McNeill Whistler and Albert Pinkham Ryder, the competing…[more]

Book:The Early Stories: 1953-1975

The Early Stories: 1953-1975

John Updike

A harvest and not a winnowing, The Early Stories preserves almost all of the short fiction John Updike published between 1954 and 1975.

The stories are arranged in eight sections, of which the first, “Olinger Stories,” already appeared as a paperback in 1964; in its introduction, Updike described Olinger, Pennsylvania, as “a square mile of middle-class homes physically distinguished by a bend in the central avenue that compels some side streets to deviate from the grid pattern.” These eleven tales, whose heroes age from ten to over thirty but remain at heart Olinger boys, are followed by groupings titled “Out in the World,” “Married Life,” and “Family Life,” tracing a common American trajectory. Family life is disrupted by the advent of “The Two Iseults,” a bifurcation originating in another small town, Tarbox, Massachusetts, where the Puritan heritage co-exists with…[more]

Book:Hugging the Shore

Hugging the Shore: Essays and Criticism

John Updike

Since 1960 John Updike has been writing book reviews for The New Yorker, and his contributions the last eight years make up the bulk of this volume.

On this collection, James Atlas adds that there is “the sort of ambitious scholarly reappraisal not seen in this country since the death of Edmund Wilson.”

Among the authors discussed in Hugging The Shore are Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Isak Dinesen, Gunter Grass, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Vladimir Nabokov, Muriel Spark and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Book:A Child's Calendar

A Child's Calendar

John Updike, Trina Schart Hyman

From the short, frozen days of January, through the long green days of June, to the first light snowflakes of December, here are poems for all twelve months of the year. Each celebrates the familiar but nonetheless wondrous qualities that make a time of the year unique. Vibrant paintings follow the members of a busy, contented family and their friends through the seasons, capturing their affection for one another along with the snowy quiet of winter, the newness of spring, the still heat of summer, and the crispness of autumn.

Book:Roger's Version

Roger's Version

John Updike

A born-again computer whiz kid bent on proving the existence of God on his computer meets a middle-aged divinity professor, Roger Lambert, who’d just as soon leave faith a mystery. Soon the computer hacker begins an affair with professor Lambert’s wife—and Roger finds himself experiencing deep longings for a trashy teenage girl.

Book:The Witches of Eastwick

The Witches of Eastwick

John Updike

In a small New England town in the late 1960s, there lived three witches Alexandra Spoffard, sculptress, could create thunderstorms. Jane Smart, a cellist, could fly. The local gossip columnist, Sukie Rougemont, could turn milk into cream.

Divorced but hardly celibate, content but always ripe for adventure, our three wonderful witches one day found themselves quite under the spell of the new man in town, Darryl Van Horne, whose hot tub was the scene of some rather bewitching delights.

To tell you any more, dear reader, would be to spoil the marvelous joy of reading this hexy, sexy novel by the incomparable John Updike.

Book:Too Far to Go

Too Far to Go

John Updike

Stories that trace the decline and fall of a marriage, a history made up of the happiness of growing children and shared life, and the sadness of growing estrangement and the misunderstandings of love.

Book:The Coup

The Coup: A Novel

John Updike

John Updike is one of America’s most versatile men of letters. His characterization of Rabbit Angstrom in Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux and Rabbit Is Rich has made the author richer than Rabbit.

But in The Coup, Updike dissects a modern African state called Kush. Narrated tongue-in-cheek by Kush’s exiled president, Colonel Felix Ellellou, Updike proves he is an equal opportunity employer when it comes to slicing up bunkum, whether black or white, first world or third.

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