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Works by
John Updike
[March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009]

  • The Twelve Terrors of Christmas (2006)
    Edward Gorey's off-kilter depictions of Yuletide mayhem and John Updike's wryly jaundiced text examine a dozen Christmas traditions with a decidedly wheezy ho-ho-ho. This long out-of-print classic is the perfect stocking-stuffer for any bah humbug. 32 pages, smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket.

  • A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects (1995)

  • Bottom's Dream (1969)

  • A Child's Calendar (1965)

  • The Ring (1964) with Warren Chappell, Illustrator
    When Wagner wrote his famous series of four operas, The Ring of the Niebelungs, each opera contained a separate story, but together they related the legend of the death of the old German gods. Here is Updike's retelling of the tale of how the mighty hero Siegried conquered the dragon Fafner and resuced the warrior-maiden Brunhilda from the flaming rock where she slept.

  • The Magic Flute (1962)

  • Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism (2007)
    John Updike’s sixth collection of essays and literary criticism opens with a skeptical overview of literary biographies, proceeds to five essays on topics ranging from China and small change to faith and late works, and takes up, under the heading “General Considerations,” books, poker, cars, and the American libido. The last, informal section of Due Considerations assembles more or less autobiographical pieces—reminiscences, friendly forewords, comments on the author’s own recent works, responses to probing questions.

    In between, many books are considered, some in introductions—to such classics as Walden, The Portrait of a Lady, and The Mabinogion—and many more in reviews, usually for The New Yorker. Ralph Waldo Emerson and the five Biblical books of Moses come in for appraisal, along with Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Wizard of Oz. Contemporary American and English writers -- A. S. Byatt, Colson Whitehead, Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, Ian McEwan, Muriel Spark, Norman Rush, William Trevor -- receive attentive and appreciative reviews, as do Gabriel García Márquez (Writer), Günter Grass, Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Peter Carey, Rohinton Mistry, and Salman Rushdie. In factual waters, Mr. Updike ponders the sinking of the Lusitania and the “unsinkable career” of Coco Chanel, the adventures of Lord Byron and Iris Murdoch, the sexual revolution and the advent of female Biblical scholars, and biographies of Robert Frost, Sinclair Lewis, Marcel Proust, and Søren Kierkegaard.

    Reading Due Considerations is like taking a cruise that calls at many ports with a witty, sensitive, and articulate guide aboard—a voyage not to be missed.

  • Still Looking: Essays on American Art (2006)
    When, in 1989, a collection of John Updike’s writings on art appeared under the title Just Looking, a reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle commented, “He refreshes for us the sense of prose opportunity that makes art a sustaining subject to people who write about it.” In the sixteen years since Just Looking was published, he has continued to serve as an art critic, mostly for The New York Review of Books, and from fifty or so articles has selected, for this richly illustrated book, eighteen that deal with American art.

    After beginning with early American portraits, landscapes, and the transatlantic career of John Singleton Copley, Still Looking then considers the curious case of Martin Johnson Heade and extols two late-nineteenth-century masters, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins. Next, it discusses the eccentric pre-moderns James McNeill Whistler and Albert Pinkham Ryder, the competing American Impressionists and Realists in the early twentieth century, and such now-historic avant-garde figures as Alfred Stieglitz, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Elie Nadelman. Two appreciations of Edward Hopper and appraisals of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol round out the volume.

  • More Matter : Essays and Criticism (1999)

  • Golf Dreams: Writings on Golf (1996)

  • Memories of the Ford Administration (1992) by John Updike

  • Odd Jobs: Essays and Criticism (1991)

  • John Updike: Just Looking: Essays on Art (1989)

  • Self-Consciousness: Memoirs (1989)

  • Hugging the Shore (1983) -- winner National Book Critics Circle Award

  • Picked-Up Pieces (1975)

  • Assorted Prose of Updike (1965)

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