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John Updike’s America, Part II
When John Updike quit his job at the New Yorker and moved away from that literary scene to suburban Massachusetts, he set his task as a book a year. That was fifty years ago and he's done it—an incomparable achievement for a writer to whom the last half-century has not offered the spacious temporal field that the nineteenth century gave Balzac and Trollope. Yet, like them, Updike has now provided, in novels, stories, poems, reviews, and essays, more than one generation with a detailed account of the life of their time that few of his peers, if any, can even approach. He seems to know intimately about everything and writes like the “Archangel” in Pigeon Feathers, whose “pleasures are as specific as they are everlasting.”
Terrence Doody, professor of English at Rice University, will prepare us for John Updike’s February 27 visit to Houston (sponsored by Inprint as part of its Margarett Root Brown Reading Series at the Alley Theatre) by discussing three of Updike’s novels. We will cover Bech: A Book, In the Beauty of the Lillies, and Gertrude and Claudius in this order.
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