The Afterlife: And Other Stories

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9780449912010: The Afterlife: And Other Stories
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To Carter Billings, the hero of John Updike's title story, all of England has the glow of an afterlife: "A miraculous lacquer lay upon everything, beading each roadside twig, each reed of thatch in the cottage roofs, each tiny daisy trembling in the grass." All twenty-two of the stories in this collection - John Updike's eleventh, and his first in seven years - in various ways partake of this glow, as life beyond middle age is explored and found to have its own particular wonders, from omniscient golf caddies to prescient sexual rumors, from the deaths of mothers and brothers-in-law to the births of grandchildren. As death approaches, life takes on, for some of these aging heroes, a translucence, a magical fragility; vivid memory and casual misperception lend the mundane an antic texture, and the backward view, lengthening, acquires a certain grandeur. Travel, whether to England or Ireland, Italy or the isles of Greece, heightens perceptions and tensions. As is usual in Mr. Updike's fiction, spouses quarrel, lovers part, children are brave, and houses with their decor have the presence of personalities. His is a world where innocence stubbornly persists, and fresh beginnings almost outnumber losses.

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Review:

"Marvelously moving . . . These tales evoke a certain peace and a definite wonder at what an astonishingly graceful writer Updike is."--USA Today

"Quintessential Updike . . . These tales are elegies for lost youth and receding passions."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"If one trait can account for John Updike's staying power, it is the man's exquisite grasp of ordinary miracles. . . . With his small mirages, his puddles left by both the heroic and the damned, Updike can turn the simple, misguided efforts of a man into a signature of song."--The Boston Globe

About the Author:

John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679435839: The Afterlife and Other Stories

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0679435832 ISBN 13: 9780679435839
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group, 1994
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9780449223918: The Afterlife and Other Stories

Crest, 1995
Softcover

9780241135013: The Afterlife: And Other Stories

Hamish..., 1995
Hardcover

9780517170830: The Afterlife

Random..., 1996
Hardcover

9780140245059: The Afterlife: And Other Stories

Penguin, 1995
Softcover

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Book Description Random House Trade, United States, 1996. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. To the hero of the title story of this collection, all of England has the glow of an afterlife: "A miraculous lacquer lay upon everything, beading each roadside twig . . . each reed of thatch, each tiny daisy trembling in the grass." All of these stories, each in its own way, partake of this glow, as life beyond middle age is explored and found to have its own exquisite dearness. As death approaches, existence takes on, for some of Updike's aging characters, a translucence, a magical fragility; vivid memory and casual misperception lend the mundane an antic texture, and the backward view, lengthening, acquires a certain grandeur. Here is a world where wonder stubbornly persists, and fresh beginnings almost outnumber losses. Seller Inventory # BZV9780449912010

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