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Early Stories 1953-1975

ISBN-10: 0345463366
ISBN-13: 9780345463364
Edition: N/A
Authors: John Updike
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Description: “He is a religious writer; he is a comic realist; he knows what everything feels like, how everything works. He is putting together a body of work which in substantial intelligent creation will eventually be seen as second to none in our time.”  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/28/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 864
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.222
Language: English

“He is a religious writer; he is a comic realist; he knows what everything feels like, how everything works. He is putting together a body of work which in substantial intelligent creation will eventually be seen as second to none in our time.” —William H. Pritchard, The Hudson Review, reviewing Museums and Women (1972) 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 post-Christian morals. “Tarbox Tales” are followed by “Far Out,” a group of more or less experimental fictions on the edge of domestic space, and “The Single Life,” whose protagonists are unmarried and unmoored. Of these one hundred three stories, eighty first appeared in The New Yorker, and the other twenty-three in journals from the enduring Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s to the defunct Big Table and Transatlantic Review. All show Mr. Updike’s wit and verbal felicity, his reverence for ordinary life, and his love of the transient world. From the Hardcover edition.

American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1932. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, which he attended on a scholarship, in 1954. After graduation, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. After returning from England in 1955, he worked for two years on the staff of The New Yorker. This marked the beginning of a long relationship with the magazine, during which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews. Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959). During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns---marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex. Among his best-known works are the Rabbit tetrology---Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1988). Rabbit, Run introduces Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as a 26-year-old salesman of dime-store gadgets trapped in an unhappy marriage in a dismal Pennsylvania town, looking back wistfully on his days as a high school basketball star. Rabbit Redux takes up the story 10 years later, and Rabbit's relationship with representative figures of the 1960s enables Updike to provide social commentary in a story marked by mellow wisdom and compassion in spite of some shocking jolts. In Rabbit Is Rich, Harry is comfortably middle-aged and complacent, and much of the book seems to satirize the country-club set and the swinging sexual/social life of Rabbit and his friends. Finally, in Rabbit at Rest, Harry arrives at the age where he must confront his mortality. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest. Updike's other novels range widely in subject and locale, from The Poorhouse Fair, about a home for the aged that seems to be a microcosm for society as a whole, through The Court (1978), about a revolution in Africa, to The Witches of Eastwick (1984), in which Updike tries to write from inside the sensibilities of three witches in contemporary New England. The Centaur (1963) is a subtle, complicated allegorical novel that won Updike the National Book Award in 1964. In addition to his novels, Updike also has written short stories, poems, critical essays, and reviews. Self-Consciousness (1989) is a memoir of his early life, his thoughts on issues such as the Vietnam War, and his attitude toward religion. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 at the age of 76.

Foreword
Olinger Stories
You'll Never Know, Dear, How Much I Love You
The Alligators
Pigeon Feathers
Friends from Philadelphia
A Sense of Shelter
Flight
The Happiest I've Been
The Persistence of Desire
The Blessed Man of Boston, My Grandmother's Thimble, and Fanning Island
Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car
In Football Season
Out in the World
The Lucid Eye in Silver Town
The Kid's Whistling
Ace in the Hole
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth
The Christian Roommates
Dentistry and Doubt
A Madman
Still Life
Home
Who Made Yellow Roses Yellow?
His Finest Hour
A Trillion Feet of Gas
Dear Alexandros
The Doctor's Wife
At a Bar in Charlotte Amalie
Married Life
Toward Evening
Snowing in Greenwich Village
Sunday Teasing
Incest
A Gift from the City
Walter Briggs
The Crow in the Woods
Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
Wife-Wooing
Unstuck
Giving Blood
Twin Beds in Rome
Marching through Boston
Nakedness
Family Life
The Family Meadow
The Day of the Dying Rabbit
How to Love America and Leave It at the Same Time
The Music School
Man and Daughter in the Cold
The Rescue
Plumbing
The Orphaned Swimming Pool
When Everyone Was Pregnant
Eros Rampant
Sublimating
Nevada
The Gun Shop
Son
Daughter, Last Glimpses of
The Two Iseults
Solitaire
Leaves
The Stare
Museums and Women
Avec la Bebe-Sitter
Four Sides of One Story
The Morning
My Lover Has Dirty Fingernails
Harv Is Plowing Now
I Will Not Let Thee Go, Except Thou Bless Me
Tarbox Tales
The Indian
The Hillies
The Tarbox Police
The Corner
A & P
Lifeguard
The Deacon
The Carol Sing
The Taste of Metal
Your Lover Just Called
Commercial
Minutes of the Last Meeting
Believers
Eclipse
Far Out
Archangel
The Dark
The Astronomer
The Witnesses
A Constellation of Events
Ethiopia
Transaction
Augustine's Concubine
During the Jurassic
Under the Microscope
The Balcuhitherium
The Invention of the Horse Collar
Jesus on Honshu
The Slump
The Sea's Green Sameness
The Single Life
The Bulgarian Poetess
The Hermit
I Am Dying, Egypt, Dying
Separating
Gesturing
Killing
Problems
The Man Who Loved Extinct Mammals
Love Song, for a Moog Synthesizer
Index of Titles

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