Updike

Begley, Adam

9780061896453

ISBN 10: 0061896454 / 0-06-189645-4
ISBN 13: 9780061896453
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

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.


Review:
“A beautifully written, richly detailed, and warmly sympathetic portrait of a great American writer.” ( Joyce Carol Oates)

“Adam Begley’s Updike is a model of what a literary biography should be: rich with penetrating insights not only about the life but also about the work. It will enthrall long-time Updike fans and help create generations of new ones.” ( Francine Prose)

“Adam Begley’s brilliant evocation/remembrance of our own literary giant should be required reading for Americans; Updike illumines a particular era with John Updike’s own ferocity and tenderness. ( Jayne Anne Phillips)

“Adam Begley’s careful and considerate biography illuminates all the right things about Updike, whose dramas were lived both privately and publicly. It’s a social history in which one man’s heart, mind, and talent came to resonate for an entire society.” ( Ann Beattie)

“’You have to give it magic,’ John Updike explained of the stuff on the page; Adam Begley has done him proud, offering up Updike the man and Updike the writer in an exuberant, stunningly choreographed pas de deux.” ( Stacy Schiff)

“Adam Begley tells the story of John Updike’s life in art with brilliant tautness, as if he were writing a novel. He has rendered a portrait of the writer that shimmers with truth. This is literary biography at its highest level of excellence.” ( Janet Malcolm)

“On the evidence of this judicious new biography, John Updike recorded in his fiction the most painful events in his life. . . . Begley demonstrates that Updike was more complicated than the twinkly public persona he created for himself.” ( Robert Wilson, The American Scholar)

“Begley seamlessly weaves biography and critical analysis throughout his book, much as Updike himself blurred autobiography and fiction. Updike is a monumental treatment of a towering American writer.” ( The New York Observer)

Review

Review:

In this eye-opening, authoritative biography, Adam Begley offers a captivating portrait of John Updike, the author who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, and who dedicated himself to the task of tran-scribing "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 on in-depth archival research as well as interviews with the writer's family, friends, and colleagues, Begley explores how Updike's fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life—including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his firsthand experience of the "adulterous society" he was credited with exposing in the bestselling novel Couples.

With a sharp critical sensibility, 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.

Candid, intimate, and utterly absorbing, Updike is a masterful biography of a national treasure whose writing continues to resonate like no one else's.

From the Back Cover

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 155 mm. Brand New Book. In this eye-opening, authoritative biography, Adam Begley offers a captivating portrait of John Updike, the author who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, and 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 on in-depth archival research as well as interviews with the writer s family, friends, and colleagues, Begley explores how Updike s fiction was shaped by his tumultuous personal life--including his enduring religious faith, his two marriages, and his firsthand experience of the adulterous society he was credited with exposing in the bestselling novel Couples.With a sharp critical sensibility, 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.Candid, intimate, and utterly absorbing, Updike is a masterful biography of a national treasure whose writing continues to resonate like no one else s. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780061896453

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