The Early Stories by John Updike

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Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
A harvest and not a winnowing, this volume collects 103 stories, almost all of the short fiction that John Updike wrote between 1953 and 1975. “How rarely it can be said of any of our great American writers that they have been equally gifted in both long and short forms,” reads the citation composed for John Updike upon his winning the 2006 Rea Award for the Short Story. “Contemplating John Updike’s monumental achievement in the short story, one is moved to think of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, and perhaps William Faulkner—writers whose reputations would be as considerable, or nearly, if short stories had been all that they had written. From [his] remarkable early short story collections . . . through his beautifully nuanced stories of family life [and] the bittersweet humors of middle age and beyond . . . John Updike has created a body of work in the notoriously difficult form of the short story to set beside those of these distinguished American predecessors. Congratulations and heartfelt thanks are due to John Updike for having brought such pleasure and such illumination to so many readers for so many years.”


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. 866 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Early Stories

The New York Times

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Updike's stories from 1953 to 1975, collected in a new edition, contemplate the divine presence and the mysteries of the flesh.

Nov 30 2003 | Read Full Review of The Early Stories: 1953-1975

Star Tribune

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In his introduction, Updike describes wanting his work "to give the mundane its beautiful due," but Updike is selling himself short here.

Dec 20 2003 | Read Full Review of The Early Stories: 1953-1975

AV Club

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John Updike's early career was like an idealized fantasy. He moved almost directly from Harvard to a position as a contributing writer/editor at...

Jan 12 2004 | Read Full Review of The Early Stories: 1953-1975

Entertainment Weekly

At 838 pages, John Updike's comprehensive collection The Early Stories, 1953-1975 is initially intimidating -- but ultimately satisfying.

Nov 07 2003 | Read Full Review of The Early Stories: 1953-1975

Deseret News

John Updike's "The Early Stories: 1953-1975," happily puts 103 stories together in one volume, and a second volume still to come promises to complete the job with "the later stories."

Dec 21 2003 | Read Full Review of The Early Stories: 1953-1975

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