Updike by William Pritchard
America's Man of Letters

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Synopsis

By the time he was 28, John Updike had published a collection of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a novel. Over the next four decades he continued in these forms, along with criticism and reviews of literature and painting; in memoirs; and in commentary on his own writing. This absorbing book takes Updike's life, as well as his voluminous oeuvre, as its subject.
 

About William Pritchard

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William H. Pritchard is the Henry Clay Folger Professor of English at Amherst College. He is the author of two important biographies, "Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered "and "Randall Jarrell: A Literary Life," He reviews regularly for the "New York Times Book Review," and his literary criticism is published in the "New Republic," "Hudson Review," "American Scholar," and the "Boston Sunday Globe," His most recent book, "Playing It by Ear: Literary Essays and Reviews," has been well received.
 
Published September 30, 2000 by Steerforth Press. 325 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Updike

Kirkus Reviews

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Though the assessment of Updike’s realistic “documentary” novels takes up the bulk of the book, a distinct chapter is given over to what Pritchard calls “extravagant fictions” (the novels The Coup, The Witches of Eastwick, Roger’s Version, and S), as well as one chapter for Updike’s life as a cr...

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Publishers Weekly

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A savvy literary critic, Pritchard (Talking Back to Emily Dickinson, and Other Essays) proves his credibility early on in this friendly treatment of Updike's life and work by aptly comparing the writer to Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Dean Howells and Edmund Wilson rather than to expatriates Henry...

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The New York Review of Books

Though he fleetingly admits that I was characterizing not Barth but Updike’s tendentious apprehension of Barth, he now insists that we get Barth straight.

Feb 12 1987 | Read Full Review of Updike: America's Man of Letters

The New York Review of Books

As one of those critics, indeed “English professors,” whom Frederick Crews takes to task for admiring John Updike’s work [NYR, December 4, 1986], I found Mr. Crews’s evisceration of that work too whole-scale to be true.

Feb 12 1987 | Read Full Review of Updike: America's Man of Letters

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