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Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism

by

Due Considerations: Essays and Criticism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“A drop of truth, of lived experience, glistens in each.” This is how John Updike, one of the worlds most acclaimed novelists, modestly describes his nonfiction work, the brilliant and graceful essays and criticism he has written for more than five decades. Due Considerations is his sixth collection, and perhaps the most moving, stylish, and personal volume yet. Here he reflects on such writers and works as Emerson, Uncle Toms Cabin, Colson Whitehead, The Wizard of Oz, Don DeLillo, The Portrait of a Lady, Margaret Atwood, The Mabinogion, and Proust. Updike also provides a whimsical and insightful list of “Ten Epochal Moments in the American Libido,” from Pocahontas and John Smith to Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky; muses on how the practice of faith changes but doesnt disappear; and shares his reaction to the attacks on 9/11 (in Brooklyn that day, “Freedom, reflected in the streets diversity and quotidian ease, felt palpable”). Due Considerations proves that John Updike is, as noted in The Boston Globe, “our greatest critic of literature.”

Praise for Due Considerations:

A New York Times Notable Book

“The prose is clean, elegant, exquisitely calibrated. . . . [Updike is] one of the best essayists and critics this country has produced in the last century.”

-Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Updikes scope is rather breathtaking. . . . When I do not know the subject well-as in his finely illustrated art reviews of Bruegel, Dürer and Goya-I learn much from what Updike has to impart. When he considers an author I love, like Proust or Czeslaw Milosz, I often find myself appreciating familiar things in a new way.”

-Christopher Hitchens, The New York Times Book Review

“With his pack-rat curiosity . . . his prodigious memory and attendant knack for choosing the ‘just-right fact or quote, and his ever-present astonishment at both the stupidity and genius on display wherever he looks, Updike is in many ways an ideal critic. . . . It is a privilege to be in the company of this wonderfully American voice.”

-Rocky Mountain News

“Updike knows more about literature than almost anyone breathing today. . . . He's beyond knowledgeable-he makes Google look wanting.”

-Baltimore Sun

“Provocative and incisive . . . This volume reminds us that [Updikes] prose sets our literary bar very high indeed.”

-The Charlotte Observer

“Updike offers an effortless mastery of form and content.”

-The Boston Globe

Synopsis:

Updikes sixth collection of essays and literary criticism opens with a skeptical overview of literary biographies, proceeds to five essays on topics ranging from China and small change to faith and late works, and takes up, under the heading General Considerations, books, poker, cars, and the American libido.

Synopsis:

“A drop of truth, of lived experienced, glistens in each.” This is how John Updike modestly described his nonfiction pieces, of which Due Considerations is perhaps his most varied, stylish, and personal collection. Here Updike reflects on such writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, Don DeLillo, A. S. Byatt, Colson Whitehead, and Margaret Atwood. He visits China, goes to art exhibitions, provides a whimsical and insightful list of “Ten Epochal Moments in the American Libido,” and shares his thoughts on the fall of the Twin Towers, which he witnessed from a tenth-floor apartment in Brooklyn. John Updike was always more than simply one of America’s most acclaimed novelists; he was also, as the Los Angeles Times noted in appraising this volume, “one of the best essayists and critics this country has produced.”

About the Author

John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. 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, and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the father of four children and the author of more than fifty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. A previous collection of essays, Hugging the Shore, received the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345499004
Author:
Updike, John
Publisher:
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 BLACK-and-WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
7.96x5.28x1.59 in. 1.16 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

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Product details 736 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345499004 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Updikes sixth collection of essays and literary criticism opens with a skeptical overview of literary biographies, proceeds to five essays on topics ranging from China and small change to faith and late works, and takes up, under the heading General Considerations, books, poker, cars, and the American libido.
"Synopsis" by , “A drop of truth, of lived experienced, glistens in each.” This is how John Updike modestly described his nonfiction pieces, of which Due Considerations is perhaps his most varied, stylish, and personal collection. Here Updike reflects on such writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, Don DeLillo, A. S. Byatt, Colson Whitehead, and Margaret Atwood. He visits China, goes to art exhibitions, provides a whimsical and insightful list of “Ten Epochal Moments in the American Libido,” and shares his thoughts on the fall of the Twin Towers, which he witnessed from a tenth-floor apartment in Brooklyn. John Updike was always more than simply one of America’s most acclaimed novelists; he was also, as the Los Angeles Times noted in appraising this volume, “one of the best essayists and critics this country has produced.”
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