The Afterlife and Other Stories

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9780679435839: 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:

" Quintessential Updike....These tales are elegies for lost youth and receding passions."
-- 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
" Marvelously Moving...these tales evoke a certain peace and a definite wonder at what an astonishingly graceful writer Updike is."
-- USA Today
" John Updike has rarely written more affectingly, more from the center of his being....This collection is about the passing of generations, and the way that passing leaves people marooned.... Reviewing a novel of Vladimir Nabokov in 1964, Mr. Updike said, 'He writes prose the only way it should be written -- that is, ecstatically.' That ecstasy is evident on every page of The Afterlife."
-- The New York Times Book Review
" These are first-rate stories, thoughtful and wise."
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Quintessential Updike....These tales are elegies for lost youth and receding passions."
-- 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
"Marvelously Moving...these tales evoke a certain peace and a definite wonder at what an astonishingly graceful writer Updike is."
-- USA Today
"John Updike has rarely written more affectingly, more from the center of his being....This collection is about the passing of generations, and the way that passing leaves people marooned.... Reviewing a novel of Vladimir Nabokov in 1964, Mr. Updike said, 'He writes prose the only way it should be written -- that is, ecstatically.' That ecstasy is evident on every page of The Afterlife."
-- The New Y

"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 the author of more than sixty books, eight of them collections of poetry. His novels, including The Centaur, Rabbit Is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780449912010: The Afterlife: And Other Stories

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ISBN 10: 0449912019 ISBN 13: 9780449912010
Publisher: Random House Trade, 1996
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9780449223918: The Afterlife and Other Stories

Crest, 1995
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Hamish..., 1995
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9780140245059: The Afterlife: And Other Stories

Penguin, 1995
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