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The Early Stories - John Updike

The Early Stories

Paperback Published: 1st September 2004
ISBN: 9780345463364
Number Of Pages: 838

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""He is a religious writer; he is a comic realist; he knows what everything feels like, how everything works. He is putting together a body of work which in substantial intelligent creation will eventually be seen as second to none in our time."
--William H. Pritchard, The Hudson Review, reviewing Museums and Women (1972)"
A harvest and not a winnowing, "The Early Stories" preserves almost all of the short fiction John Updike published between 1954 and 1975.
The stories are arranged in eight sections, of which the first, "Olinger Stories," already appeared as a paperback in 1964; in its introduction, Updike described Olinger, Pennsylvania, as "a square mile of middle-class homes physically distinguished by a bend in the central avenue that compels some side streets to deviate from the grid pattern." These eleven tales, whose heroes age from ten to over thirty but remain at heart Olinger boys, are followed by groupings titled "Out in the World," "Married Life," and "Family Life," tracing a common American trajectory. Family life is disrupted by the advent of "The Two Iseults," a bifurcation originating in another small town, Tarbox, Massachusetts, where the Puritan heritage co-exists with post-Christian morals. "Tarbox Tales" are followed by "Far Out," a group of more or less experimental fictions on the edge of domestic space, and "The Single Life," whose protagonists are unmarried and unmoored.
Of these one hundred three stories, eighty first appeared in "The New Yorker, "and the other twenty-three in journals from the enduring "Atlantic Monthly" and "Harper's" to the defunct "Big Table "and" Transatlantic Review." All show Mr. Updike's wit and verbal felicity, his reverence for ordinary life, and his love of the transient world.

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Classic gems . . . These stories, like Mr. Updike's finest novels . . . preserve a time and a place through the sorcery of words."--The New York Times

"[Updike is] akin to Coleridge and Shelley, only with an American twist. One story at a time, he [reminds] Americans that in spite of life's largesse, things fail; one sentence at a time, he reveals that through the small details, it can be sublime."--The Denver Post

"Updike's artistry--normally glimpsed in sections, like a person through window slats--is wholly and deeply seen. . . . One reads through the plenitude with delight, expectation, and at all times gratitude."--The Atlantic Monthly

Forewordp. xi
Olinger Stories
You'll Never Know, Dear, How Much I Love Youp. 3
The Alligatorsp. 7
Pigeon Feathersp. 13
Friends from Philadelphiap. 34
A Sense of Shelterp. 41
Flightp. 52
The Happiest I've Beenp. 67
The Persistence of Desirep. 81
The Blessed Man of Boston, My Grandmother's Thimble, and Fanning Islandp. 91
Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Carp. 102
In Football Seasonp. 122
Out in the World
The Lucid Eye in Silver Townp. 129
The Kid's Whistlingp. 138
Ace in the Holep. 144
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forthp. 152
The Christian Roommatesp. 161
Dentistry and Doubtp. 184
A Madmanp. 190
Still Lifep. 201
Homep. 214
Who Made Yellow Roses Yellow?p. 225
His Finest Hourp. 237
A Trillion Feet of Gasp. 248
Dear Alexandrosp. 257
The Doctor's Wifep. 261
At a Bar in Charlotte Amaliep. 269
Married Life
Toward Eveningp. 283
Snowing in Greenwich Villagep. 288
Sunday Teasingp. 296
Incestp. 303
A Gift from the Cityp. 315
Walter Briggsp. 334
The Crow in the Woodsp. 340
Should Wizard Hit Mommy?p. 344
Wife-Wooingp. 350
Unstuckp. 354
Giving Bloodp. 361
Twin Beds in Romep. 372
Marching through Bostonp. 380
Nakednessp. 389
Family Life
The Family Meadowp. 397
The Day of the Dying Rabbitp. 401
How to Love America and Leave It at the Same Timep. 411
The Music Schoolp. 416
Man and Daughter in the Coldp. 421
The Rescuep. 428
Plumbingp. 436
The Orphaned Swimming Poolp. 442
When Everyone Was Pregnantp. 446
Eros Rampantp. 451
Sublimatingp. 462
Nevadap. 470
The Gun Shopp. 480
Sonp. 491
Daughter, Last Glimpses ofp. 496
The Two Iseults
Solitairep. 505
Leavesp. 510
The Starep. 514
Museums and Womenp. 520
Avec la Bebe-Sitterp. 530
Four Sides of One Storyp. 537
The Morningp. 546
My Lover Has Dirty Fingernailsp. 552
Harv Is Plowing Nowp. 559
I Will Not Let Thee Go, Except Thou Bless Mep. 564
Tarbox Tales
The Indianp. 573
The Hilliesp. 579
The Tarbox Policep. 584
The Cornerp. 589
A & Pp. 596
Lifeguardp. 602
The Deaconp. 608
The Carol Singp. 614
The Taste of Metalp. 618
Your Lover Just Calledp. 623
Commercialp. 630
Minutes of the Last Meetingp. 636
Believersp. 640
Eclipsep. 645
Far Out
Archangelp. 649
The Darkp. 651
The Astronomerp. 656
The Witnessesp. 661
A Constellation of Eventsp. 666
Ethiopiap. 675
Transactionp. 682
Augustine's Concubinep. 702
During the Jurassicp. 708
Under the Microscopep. 713
The Balcuhitheriump. 716
The Invention of the Horse Collarp. 719
Jesus on Honshup. 723
The Slumpp. 727
The Sea's Green Samenessp. 730
The Single Life
The Bulgarian Poetessp. 737
The Hermitp. 751
I Am Dying, Egypt, Dyingp. 765
Separatingp. 788
Gesturingp. 799
Killingp. 810
Problemsp. 820
The Man Who Loved Extinct Mammalsp. 823
Love Song, for a Moog Synthesizerp. 829
Index of Titlesp. 835
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780345463364
ISBN-10: 0345463366
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 838
Published: 1st September 2004
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.9  x 3.7
Weight (kg): 0.82
Edition Number: 1