Although moderator Sally LeVan and panelist Kevin Frazier had to cancel because of personal reasons, the “John Updike and American Pop Culture” panel featuring Peter Bailey, Matthew Shipe, and Ed Allen went well, with yours truly stepping in to moderate, and the papers presented by Sylvie Mathé and Judie Newman were equally impressive in the “Updike Abroad” session moderated by James Schiff.
About 10 members made it to San Francisco for the panels and business meeting, and secretary Peter Bailey will be sending members minutes soon. It was wonderful to see old friends again and to meet new ones—something that will be even more fun at the Society’s first conference this October 1-3 at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa. Among the things we talked about in San Francisco were ways in which the Society might act to influence such things as anthology entries. We couldn’t help but be appalled that a new Wiley-Blackwell literature series included Updike in one volume on American short fiction but omitted him in several other volumes on contemporary American fiction. And the Updike stories and poems that are featured in anthologies are pretty much the same ones. A quick tour of the book displays at ALA turned up these:
“A&P” is included in Making Literature Better: An Anthology for Readers and Writers, 4th Edition, edited by John Schlib and John Clifford; The Bedford Anthology of American Literature Vol. Two: 1865 to the Present, edited by Belasco and Johnson; 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, 3rd Edition, edited by Beverly Lawn; The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction Compact 7th Edition, edited by Ann Charters; The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 9th Edition, edited by Michael Meyer; Literature: A Portable Anthology, 2nd Edition, edited by Gardner, Lawn, Ridl, and Schakel;and Approaching Literature, 2nd Edition, edited by Schakel and Ridl.
“Separating” is included in The American Short Story and Its Writer: An Anthology, edited by Ann Charters.
“Outage” is included in The Bedford Introduction Literature, 9th Edition, edited by Michael Meyer.
The poems “Dog’s Death” and “Player Piano” are included in Poetry: An Introduction, 6th Edition, Michael Meyer; The Bedford Introduction to Literature, 9th Edition, edited by Michael Meyer. And “Ex-Basketball Player” appears in The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry, edited by Jay Parini. There are more anthologies out there, of course, but these were the ones displayed, and it gives one pause.
Pictured in the top photo (from left, clockwise) after the first panel are Matthew Shipe, Peter Bailey, Ed Allen, Marshall Boswell, and James Schiff. In the other photo from the second panel (from left) are Sylvie Mathé, James Schiff, and Judie Newman.