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In the Beauty of the Lilies

ISBN-10: 0449911217

ISBN-13: 9780449911211

Edition: N/A

Authors: John Updike

List price: $16.00
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Description:

"IT WILL LEAVE YOU STUNNED AND BREATHLESS. . . . With grand ambition, [Updike] not only tracks the fortunes and falls of an American family through four generations and eight decades but also creates a shimmering, celluloid portrait of the whole century as viewed through the metaphor of the movies." --Miami Herald "AN IMPORTANT AND IMPRESSIVE NOVEL: a novel that not only shows how we live today, but also how we got there. . . . A book that forces us to reassess the American Dream and the crucial role that faith (and the longing for faith) has played in shaping the national soul." --The New York Times "STIRRING AND CAPTIVATING AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN . . . [This] new novel displays a depth and a narrative confidence that make one sigh with sweet anticipation. This is the Updike of the Rabbit books, who can take you uphill and down with his grace of vision, his gossamer language, and his merciful, ironic glance at the misery of the human condition. " --The Boston Globe "AWESOME . . . Updike's genius, his place beside Hawthorne and Nabokov have never been more assured, or chilling." --The New Yorker "POWERFUL." --The Atlanta Journal Constitution
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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 1/21/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 576
Size: 5.50" wide x 0.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.