Synopses & Reviews
The Jewish American novelist Henry Bech—procrastinating, libidinous, and tart-tongued, his reputation growing while his powers decline—made his first appearance in 1965, in John Updike’s “The Bulgarian Poetess.” That story won the O. Henry First Prize, and it and the six Bech adventures that followed make up this collection. “Bech is the writer in me,” Updike once said, “creaking but lusty, battered but undiscourageable, fed on the blood of ink and the bread of white paper.” As he trots the globe, promotes himself, and lurches from one woman’s bed to another’s, Bech views life with a blend of wonder and cynicism that will make followers of the lit-biz smile with delight and wince in recognition.
In this classic novel by John Updike, we return to a character as compelling and timeless as Rabbit Angstrom: the inimitable Henry Bech. Famous for his writer's block, Bech is a Jew adrift in a world of Gentiles. As he roams from one adventure to the next, he views life with a blend of wonder and cynicism that will make you laugh with delight and wince in recognition.
In the novel that The Boston Sunday Globe declares "his most appealing", John Updike introduces Henry Bech: an author famous for his writer's block, a Jew adrift in a world of gentiles. As he roams from one adventure to the next, he views life with a blend of wonder and cynicism that will make you laugh with delight and wince in recognition.
About the Author
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.