Stories that trace the decline and fall of a marriage, a history made up of the happiness of growing children and shared life, and the sadness of growing estrangement and the misunderstandings of love.
John Updike was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, an earlier collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He died in January 2009.
“Updike sees his subject as being, in part, ‘what Freud called “normal human unhappiness,” ’ [and his] greatest delineation of it comes in the stories about Richard and Joan Maple, a young married couple who get off to a shaky start in the fifties and shakily stay together for twenty-some years. . . . This is prime Updike.”—The Boston Phoenix
“The Maples speak out loud and clear, and very much in their own voices. . . . ‘Your Lover Just Called,’ most of which is written in dialogue, is a story of classic perfection, worthy of Maupassant or Chekhov.”—Brooke Allen
“These scenes from a marriage encapsulate what many associate with classic Updike. . . . They are painstaking portraits of a bygone era . . . described in luscious, luminous prose.”—The Christian Science Monitor