Cover image for Assorted prose
Assorted prose
Updike, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.

Physical Description:
xii, 326 pages ; 21 cm
The American man: what of him? -- Anywhere is where you hang your hat -- What is a rhyme? -- Drinking from a cup made cinchy -- On the sidewalk -- Why Robert Frost should receive the Nobel Prize -- Confessions of a wild bore -- The unread book route -- Alphonse Peintre -- Mr. Ex-resident -- Central Park -- No dodo -- Voices in the Biltmore -- Our own Baedeker -- Postal complaints -- Old and precious -- Spatial remarks -- Dinosaur egg -- Upright carpentry -- Crush vs. whip -- Métro gate -- Cancelled -- Morality play -- Obfuscating coverage -- Bryant Park -- John Marquand -- Two heroes -- Doomsday, Mass. -- Grandma Moses -- Spring rain -- Eisenhower's eloquence -- Mostly glass -- Three documents -- Free bee-hours -- Beer can -- Modern art -- The assassination -- T.S. Eliot -- The dogwood tree: a boyhood -- The lucid eye in silver town -- My uncle's death -- Outing: a family anecdote -- Mea culpa: a travel note -- Eclipse -- Poetry from downtroddendom -- Snow from a dead sky -- Franny and Zooey -- Credos and curios -- Beerbohm and others -- Rhyming Max -- No use talking -- Stuffed fox -- Honest horn -- Faith in search of understanding -- Tillich -- More love in the western world -- A foreword for young readers -- Creatures of the air -- Between a wedding and a funeral -- How how it is was -- Grandmaster Nabokov.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3541.P47 A16 1965C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



John Updike, known for his fiction and poetry, has assembled a motely but not unshapely collection of assorted non-fictional prose written during the last ten years.

Author Notes

American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1932. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, which he attended on a scholarship, in 1954. After graduation, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. After returning from England in 1955, he worked for two years on the staff of The New Yorker. This marked the beginning of a long relationship with the magazine, during which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews.

Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959). During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns---marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex. Among his best-known works are the Rabbit tetrology---Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1988). Rabbit, Run introduces Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as a 26-year-old salesman of dime-store gadgets trapped in an unhappy marriage in a dismal Pennsylvania town, looking back wistfully on his days as a high school basketball star. Rabbit Redux takes up the story 10 years later, and Rabbit's relationship with representative figures of the 1960s enables Updike to provide social commentary in a story marked by mellow wisdom and compassion in spite of some shocking jolts. In Rabbit Is Rich, Harry is comfortably middle-aged and complacent, and much of the book seems to satirize the country-club set and the swinging sexual/social life of Rabbit and his friends. Finally, in Rabbit at Rest, Harry arrives at the age where he must confront his mortality. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest.

Updike's other novels range widely in subject and locale, from The Poorhouse Fair, about a home for the aged that seems to be a microcosm for society as a whole, through The Court (1978), about a revolution in Africa, to The Witches of Eastwick (1984), in which Updike tries to write from inside the sensibilities of three witches in contemporary New England. The Centaur (1963) is a subtle, complicated allegorical novel that won Updike the National Book Award in 1964. In addition to his novels, Updike also has written short stories, poems, critical essays, and reviews. Self-Consciousness (1989) is a memoir of his early life, his thoughts on issues such as the Vietnam War, and his attitude toward religion. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography) John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. Since 1957 he has lived in Massachusetts. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike was born in 1932 and attended Harvard College and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. Form 1955 to 1957 he was a staff member of The New Yorker, which he contributed numerous writings. Updike's art criticism has appeared in publications including Arts and Antiques, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, and Realites, among many others. He is the author of such best-selling novels as Rabbit Run and Rabbit is Rich. His many works of fiction, poetry and criticism have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For the past 40 years he has lived in Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike is the author of some 50 books, including collections of short stories, poems, & criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal. Born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932, he has lived in Massachusetts since 1957.

(Publisher Provided)