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My Father's Tears and Other Stories

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My Father's Tears and Other Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780307271563
ISBN10: 0307271560
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

John Updike's first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Father's Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.

"Personal Archaeology" considers life as a sequence of half-buried layers, and "The Full Glass" distills a lifetime's happiness into one brimming moment of an old man's bedtime routine. High-school class reunions, in "The Walk with Elizanne" and "The Road Home," restore their hero to youth's commonwealth where, as the narrator of the title story confides, "the self I value is stored, however infrequently I check on its condition." Exotic locales encountered in the journeys of adulthood include Morocco, Florida, Spain, Italy, and India. The territory of childhood, with its fundamental, formative mysteries, is explored in "The Guardians," "The Laughter of the Gods," and "Kinderszenen." Love's fumblings among the bourgeoisie yield the tart comedy of "Free, Delicate Wives," "The Apparition," and "Outage."

In sum, American experience from the Depression to the aftermath of 9/11 finds reflection in these glittering pieces of observation, remembrance, and imagination.

Review:

"Updike compresses the strata of a life in his delicately rendered, tremendously moving posthumous collection. In 'Free,' the memory of a life-affirming affair buckles against a man's loyalty to his deceased wife: he recognizes that becoming a 'well-bred stick' offers more consolation in old age than the sluggish arousal of his sensuality. In 'The Accelerating Expansion of the Universe,' the retired protagonist, depressed by what he perceives as the universe's indifference to human affairs, is done in by the accumulated detritus of his life. Many characters are haunted by a sense of isolation, such as the protagonist of 'Personal Archaeology,' who roams his Massachusetts estate, searching for traces of previous ownership while sifting through his own petty contribution, or the emotionally stranded absentee landlord of an Alton, Pa., family farm in 'The Road Home,' who returns after 50 years and finds himself lost in his hometown. From 'Kinderszenen,' which depicts the anxious time of smalltown late 1930s, to 'Varieties of Religious Experience,' in which a grandfather watches the twin towers fall, time ushers in brutal changes. With masterly assurance, Updike transforms the familiar into the mysterious. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

In January, John Updike died of cancer at the age of 76. The 20th century's pre-eminent man of letters, Updike was equally at home with the novel, essays, criticism and poetry, but he will probably find his most lasting fame with his short stories, some of which were already classics in his lifetime. So it is fitting that we have as a fond valedictory this, John Updike's 12th collection of short fiction,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"...[T]he ache of knowing and celebrating how we've lived, what it all may mean and where we're going give...a beauty and gravity that crown a brilliant, enduring life's work and legacy." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"These marvelously wrought stories should not be regarded as a career summation but, rather, as evidence of a career interrupted....September songs from an American master." Booklist

Synopsis:

Updike's first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Father's Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.

About the Author

John Updike (1932 - 2009)was born 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 lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal.

Table of Contents

Morocco

Personal Archaeology

Free

The Walk with Elizanne

The Guardians

The Laughter of the Gods

Varieties of Religious Experience

Spanish Prelude to a Second Marriage

Delicate Wives

The Accelerating Expansion of the Universe

German Lessons

The Road Home

My Fathers Tears

Kinderszenen

The Apparition

Blue Light

Outage

The Full Glass

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

OneMansView, June 11, 2009 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Reminiscing towards the end of life (3.75 *s)

This collection of short stories consists largely of reminisces and reflections, almost invariably from the perspective of men in their seventies, involving childhood, parents, girls, and women, and on a few broader themes such as the existence of God. Occasionally, the past is dragged into the present often with surprising or discordant results. The settings are often New England, Europe, or schools. In accord with the author’s infatuation with and appreciation of women in all of his work, these stories frequently involve affairs or missed opportunities with women. There is a remarkable thematic consistency across the stories, though one involving a long trip by auto seems a little out of place.

There is a certain air of resignation, even melancholy, that pervades these stories. The stories are usually interesting with a good pace, yet in the end they are only sketches. Those who have enjoyed the author’s lengthy novels are probably not really going to be satisfied with the constant starting anew and then confronting rather abrupt endings.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307271563
Author:
Updike, John
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.5 x 5.55 x 1.2 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

My Father's Tears and Other Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307271563 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Updike compresses the strata of a life in his delicately rendered, tremendously moving posthumous collection. In 'Free,' the memory of a life-affirming affair buckles against a man's loyalty to his deceased wife: he recognizes that becoming a 'well-bred stick' offers more consolation in old age than the sluggish arousal of his sensuality. In 'The Accelerating Expansion of the Universe,' the retired protagonist, depressed by what he perceives as the universe's indifference to human affairs, is done in by the accumulated detritus of his life. Many characters are haunted by a sense of isolation, such as the protagonist of 'Personal Archaeology,' who roams his Massachusetts estate, searching for traces of previous ownership while sifting through his own petty contribution, or the emotionally stranded absentee landlord of an Alton, Pa., family farm in 'The Road Home,' who returns after 50 years and finds himself lost in his hometown. From 'Kinderszenen,' which depicts the anxious time of smalltown late 1930s, to 'Varieties of Religious Experience,' in which a grandfather watches the twin towers fall, time ushers in brutal changes. With masterly assurance, Updike transforms the familiar into the mysterious. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "...[T]he ache of knowing and celebrating how we've lived, what it all may mean and where we're going give...a beauty and gravity that crown a brilliant, enduring life's work and legacy."
"Review" by , "These marvelously wrought stories should not be regarded as a career summation but, rather, as evidence of a career interrupted....September songs from an American master."
"Synopsis" by , Updike's first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Father's Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.
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