ISBN-10:
0061896462
ISBN-13:
9780061896460
Pub. Date:
Publisher:
Updike

Updike

by Adam Begley

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Updike is Adam Begley’s masterful, much-anticipated biography of one of the most celebrated figures in American literature: Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike—a candid, intimate, and richly detailed look at his life and work.

In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing “middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities.”

Updike explores the stages of the writer’s pilgrim’s progress: his beloved home turf of Berks County, Pennsylvania; his escape to Harvard; his brief, busy working life as the golden boy at The New Yorker; his family years in suburban Ipswich, Massachusetts; his extensive travel abroad; and his retreat to another Massachusetts town, Beverly Farms, where he remained until his death in 2009. Drawing from in-depth research as well as interviews with the writer’s colleagues, friends, and family, Begley explores how Updike’s fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life—including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his first-hand experience of the “adulterous society” he was credited with exposing in the bestselling Couples.

With a sharp critical sensibility that lends depth and originality to his analysis, Begley probes Updike’s best-loved works—from Pigeon Feathers to The Witches of Eastwick to the Rabbit tetralogy—and reveals a surprising and deeply complex character fraught with contradictions: a kind man with a vicious wit, a gregarious charmer who was ruthlessly competitive, a private person compelled to spill his secrets on the printed page. Updike offers an admiring yet balanced look at this national treasure, a master whose writing continues to resonate like no one else’s.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061896460
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 513,421
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Adam Begley was the books editor for the New York Observer from 1996 to 2009. He has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times Magazine, Financial Times, Guardian, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and many other publications. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

I A Tour of Berks County 1

II The Harvard Years 53

III The Talk of the Town 104

IV Welcome to Tarbox 158

V The Two Iseults 207

VI Couples 256

VII Updike Abroad 295

VIII Tarbox Redux 319

IX Marrying Martha 358

X Haven Hill 403

XI The Lonely Fort 458

XII Endpoint 479

Acknowledgments 487

Notes 491

Credits 535

Index 537

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