John Hoyer Updike (18 March 1932 27 January 2009) one of the most famous American novelists. He was also a poet short story writer and literary critic.
Updike’s most famous work is his Harry Rabbit series ( Rabbit Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and the novella Rabbit Remembered) which chronicles Rabbit’s life over the course of several decades from young adulthood to his death. Both Rabbit Is Rich (1981) and Rabbit At Rest (1990) received the Pulitzer Prize. Updike is one of only three authors to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. He published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections. Hundreds of his stories reviews and poems appeared in The New Yorker starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books.
Describing his subject as the American small town Protestantmiddle class Updike was well recognized for his careful craftsmanship and his unique prose style. He wrote on average a book a year. Updike populated his fiction with characters who frequently experience personal turmoil and must respond to crises relating to religion family obligations and marital infidelity. His fiction is distinguished by its attention to the concerns passions and suffering of average Americans; its emphasis on Christian theology; and its preoccupation with sexuality and sensual detail. His work has attracted a significant amount of critical attention and praise and he is widely considered to be one of the great American writers of his time. Updike’s highly distinctive prose style features a rich unusual sometimes arcane vocabulary as conveyed through the eyes of a wry intelligent authorial voice that extravagantly describes the physical world while remaining squarely in the realist tradition.
He famously described his own style as an attempt to give the mundane its beautiful due.
Personal Life: Updike married Mary E. Pennington an art student at Radcliffe College in 1953. She accompanied him to Oxford England where he attended art school and where their first child Elizabeth was born in 1955. The couple had three more children together. They went through a painful divorce in 1974. In 1977 Updike married Martha Ruggles Bernhard with whom he lived for more than 30 years in Beverly Farms Massachusetts. He died of lung cancer at a hospice in Danvers Massachusetts on 27 January 2009 at the age of 76.
1. Read closely Updike’s story My Father’s Tears. You must read the story from beginning to end and choose at least two relevant and strong quotes and two in-text quotes taken from the beginning and from the end of the story.
Writing the Post:
1. Analyze the relationships between the narrator Jim and his father and his father-in-law. What this story tells us about father son relationships as described in the story. Remember to include two quotes preceded by a signal phrase as well as two in-text quotes each inserted in the middle of a sentence. Add citation.
2. Can you see connection between Updike’s story and his own life?
Take care to write the title of the story correctly:
1. Quotation-Marks 2. Apostrophe-S
My Father’s Tears