It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
MLA International Bibliography is the definitive literary research database, indexing the most authoritative Updike scholarship published in books and academic journals. MLA indexes and links to the entire JSTOR literary research collection as well as linking to many other full-text providers and the Colby College Libraries catalog. If you discover books or articles through MLA that are not available at Colby or through our lending partners, please request these items using your ILLiad Account.
The Cambridge Companion to John Updike (2006) by Stacey Olster (Editor)John Updike is one of the most prolific and important American authors of the contemporary period, with an acclaimed body of work that spans half a century and is inspired by everything from American exceptionalism to American popular culture. This Companion joins together a distinguished international team of contributors to address both the major themes in Updike's writing as well as the sources of controversy that Updike's writing has often provoked. It traces the ways in which historical and cultural changes in the second half of the twentieth century have shaped not just Updike's reassessment of America's heritage, but his reassessment of the literary devices by which that legacy is best portrayed. With a chronology and bibliography of Updike's published writings, this is the only guide students and scholars of Updike will need to understand this extraordinary writer.
Call Number: Miller PS3571.P4 Z82 2006
John Updike : a study of the short fiction (1993) by Robert M. LuscherRobert Lee Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. When he was ten, his father died and he and his mother moved to New England. He attended school at Dartmouth and Harvard, worked in a mill, taught, and took up farming, before he moved to England, where his first books of poetry, A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), were published. North of Boston brought him recognition as the preeminent voice of New England and as one of America’s major poets. In 1915 he returned to the United States and settled on a farm in New Hampshire. Four volumes of his poetry, New Hampshire (1923), Collected Poems (1930), A Further Range (1936), and A Witness Tree (1942) were all awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1963.
Updike and the Patriarchal Dilemma (1996) by O'Connell, MaryMary O'Connell examines the role of socially constructed masculinity in John Updike's Rabbit tetralogy--Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, and Rabbit at Rest--which comprises the longest and most comprehensive representation of masculinity in American literature and places Updike firmly with the precursors of the contemporary movement among men to reevaluate their cultural inheritance. A disturbing element exists, O'Connell determines, in both the texts of the Rabbit novels and in the critical community that examines them. In the novels, O'Connell finds substantial evidence to demonstrate patterns of psychological and physical abuse toward women, citing as the culminating example the mounting toll of literally or metaphorically dead women in the texts. Critics who characterize Updike as a nonviolent writer who strangely overlooks Rabbit's repressive and violent behaviors avoid a discomforting but crucial aspect of Updike's portrait. Because the critical verdict of nonviolence in Updike's novels contrasts sharply with the string of female corpses, O'Connell deems that something within the text or culture--or both--is seriously amiss. Although she examines negative aspects of Rabbit's behavior, O'Connell avoids the oversimplification of labeling Updike a misogynist. Instead, she looks closely at the forces shaping Rabbit's gender identity as well as at the ways he experiences masculinity and the ways his gender identity affects his personal and spiritual development, his relationships, and, ultimately, his society. She shows how Updike challenges stereotypical masculinity, revealing its limitations and proscriptions as the source of much unhappiness for both men and women. Further, she substantiates the relation between gender, form, structure, perspective, and language use in the novels, alerting the reader to the ambivalence arising from the male author's examination of masculinity. O'Connell maintains that Updike does more than write Rabbit as a stereotypical male; he instead explores in depth his character's habitually flawed ways of seeing and responding to the world. As she discusses these issues, O'Connell uses the term patriarchy in its broadest sense to refer to the practice of centralizing the male and marginalizing the female in all areas of human life. Patriarchal ideology--the assumptions, values, ideas, and patterns of thought that perpetuate the arrangement--is written as hidden text, permeating every aspect of culture, particularly language, from which it spreads to other signifying systems. Contrary to conventional critical wisdom, Updike is not a straightforward writer; the Rabbit novels create meaning by challenging, undermining, and qualifying their own explicit content. Updike claims that his novels are "moral debates with the reader," and according to O'Connell, the resisting reader, active and skeptical, is the one most likely to discover what Rabbit conceals and to register the nuances of layered discourse.
Rabbit Run (1960) by John Updike"Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own." THE WASHINGTON POST Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back....
The Witches of Eastwick (1984) by John UpdikeToward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, bewitching divorcées with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious. Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream. Their happy little coven takes on new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play. Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick--and through the even darker fantasies of the town's collective psyche. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Call Number: Miller PS3571.P4 W5 1984
Self-Consciousness (1989) by John UpdikeJohn Updike's memoirs consist of six chapters in which he writes of his home town, his psoriasis, his stuttering, his discomfort during the Vietnam war, his Updike ancestors, and his religion and sense of self. These essays together give the inner shape of a life, up to the age of fifty-five, of a relatively fortunate American male. He has attempted, his foreword states, "to treat this life, this massive datum which happens to be mine, as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in this world." In the service of this metaphysical effort, he has been hair-raisingly honest and beautifully eloquent, not to say, in a number of places, self-effacingly funny. He takes the reader beyond self-consciousness, into sheer wonder at the world and its fabric.
Call Number: Miller PS3571.P4 Z475 1990
The early stories, 1953-1975 (2003) by John Updike“He is a religious writer; he is a comic realist; he knows what everything feels like, how everything works. He is putting together a body of work which in substantial intelligent creation will eventually be seen as second to none in our time.” —William H. Pritchard, The Hudson Review, reviewing Museums and Women (1972) A harvest and not a winnowing, The Early Stories preserves almost all of the short fiction John Updike published between 1954 and 1975. The stories are arranged in eight sections, of which the first, “Olinger Stories,” already appeared as a paperback in 1964; in its introduction, Updike described Olinger, Pennsylvania, as “a square mile of middle-class homes physically distinguished by a bend in the central avenue that compels some side streets to deviate from the grid pattern.” These eleven tales, whose heroes age from ten to over thirty but remain at heart Olinger boys, are followed by groupings titled “Out in the World,” “Married Life,” and “Family Life,” tracing a common American trajectory. Family life is disrupted by the advent of “The Two Iseults,” a bifurcation originating in another small town, Tarbox, Massachusetts, where the Puritan heritage co-exists with post-Christian morals. “Tarbox Tales” are followed by “Far Out,” a group of more or less experimental fictions on the edge of domestic space, and “The Single Life,” whose protagonists are unmarried and unmoored. Of these one hundred three stories, eighty first appeared in The New Yorker, and the other twenty-three in journals from the enduring Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s to the defunct Big Table and Transatlantic Review. All show Mr. Updike’s wit and verbal felicity, his reverence for ordinary life, and his love of the transient world.