My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike

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Synopsis

“Drinking a toast to the visible world, his impending disappearance from it be damned.” That’s how John Updike describes one of his elderly protagonists in this, his final collection of short stories. He might have been writing about himself. In My Father’s Tears, the author revisits his signature characters, places, and themes—Americans in suburbs, cities, and small towns grappling with faith and infidelity—in a gallery of portraits of his aging generation, men and women for whom making peace with the past is now paramount. The Seattle Times called My Father’s Tears “a haunting collection” that “echoes the melancholy of Chekhov, the romanticism of Wordsworth and the mournful spirit of Yeats.”
 

About John Updike

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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.
 
Published May 29, 2009 by Random House. 306 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Father's Tears and Other Stories

The New York Times

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In doing so, Mr. Updike has mapped a narrow but fertile slice of American life, his own instantly recognizable “chunk of the planet.” Back in the early 1980s, Mr. Updike said in an interview that “there’s a crystallization that goes on in a poem, which the young man can bring off, but which the ...

May 25 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

The New York Times

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In his final collection of new fiction, John Updike relives the matter of a lifetime and grapples with the effects of aging, disease and death.

Jun 07 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

The Guardian

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My Father's Tears and Other Stories is John Updike's 63rd book to be published in Britain.

Jul 19 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

The Guardian

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Death, elsewhere appropriately seen as infinitely mysterious, august and royal - as "the distinguished thing", in Henry James's last words - is treated here without decorum and without taste.

Jul 04 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Star Tribune

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While some of the stories lack the vigor of his earlier work, taken as a whole this final collection from Updike -- published six months after his death -- is a sage and powerful look at growing old.

Jun 05 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Book Reporter

The story centers on the horrific events of 9/11 and is told from the perspectives of a man watching the Twin Towers collapse from a distance as he looks out an apartment window, one of the hijackers who flies his jet into a tower, an office worker who is trapped in one of the towers and leaps to...

Jan 12 2011 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

The Washington Post

In January, John Updike died of cancer at the age of 76.

Jun 14 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

The Independent

He talks at great length about the fall-off in Updike's prose in this book – and undoubtedly, Updike is not the great sentence-creator he was – using, as the primary example, this sentence from the story, "Kinderszenen": "The grapes make a mess on the bricks when they fall;

Jul 26 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mysteries of the Mind: Violence by mentally ill is rare -- but more frequent than in others Ron Cook: Not fair to give Pitt flak about Flacco Electronic devices and services monitor us 24/7, but there a few ways to block them Pennsylvania with...

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Thirty pages into Nicholson Baker's U and I, a pungent, hilarious account of his obsession with John Updike, Baker drops the bomb: He's read "most or all" of just eight Updike books, leaving 22 of which he's read anywhere from five pages to "more than half."

Jun 04 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Bookmarks Magazine

John Updike's prolific career spanned more than half a century and included the acclaimed and award-winning Rabbit series, The Witches of Eastwick, Couples, The Early Stories, and In the Beauty of the Lilies.

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Austin Chronicle

The story only runs 20 pages – it's a master class in narrative concision – but it serves as a reminder that Updike really could conjure anything through words – even human empathy.

Jun 19 2009 | Read Full Review of My Father's Tears and Other S...

Reader Rating for My Father's Tears and Other Stories
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