Seek My Face by John Updike

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Synopsis

John Updike’s twentieth novel, like his first, The Poorhouse Fair, takes place in one day, a day that contains much conversation and some rain. The seventy-nine-year-old painter Hope Chafetz, who in the course of her eventful life has been Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, and Hope Holloway, answers questions put to her by a New York interviewer named Kathryn, and recapitulates, through stories from her career and many marriages, the triumphant, poignant saga of postwar American art. In the evolving relation between the two women, interviewer and subject move in and out of the roles of daughter and mother, therapist and patient, predator and prey, supplicant and idol. The scene is central Vermont; the time, the early spring of 2001.

 

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 December 18, 2007 by Random House. 289 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Westerns. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Seek My Face

Kirkus Reviews

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and Hope’s fragmented personal history, including her second marriage to commercially successful collagist Guy Holloway (another dead ringer, this time for Andy Warhol) and conflicted motherhood to the three children she bore him, a happy third marriage to a companionable stockbroker and art coll...

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The Guardian

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Seek My Face by John Updike Hamish Hamilton £16.99, pp276 If I ever go blind, I cannot help feeling that John Updike's novels, read on tape in a neutral voice, will be my best reminder of the visual world.

Apr 27 2003 | Read Full Review of Seek My Face

The Guardian

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Sometimes she spells out things she doesn't need to say to Kathryn - details that Updike wants to put in for the reader - in a way that makes the fiction fake.

Apr 19 2003 | Read Full Review of Seek My Face

People

Pollock is Updike's kind of misunderstood manly mess—but even the master's prose, swinging from fine-brush realism to swooping loops of metaphor, can't save his oft-told tale from seeming smaller than life.

Dec 16 2002 | Read Full Review of Seek My Face

Reader Rating for Seek My Face
67%

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