January 2011

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Richard Androne, of Albright College, has put together two panels for the American Literature Association conference in Boston May 26-29, and a general membership meeting will follow immediately after the second panel. Session times haven’t been alloted yet, but here are the panels:

Inside the Space of John Updike’s Fiction (May 28, 12:30-1:50 p.m.)

Chair: Quentin Miller, Suffolk University

“Reading for the Sake of Seeing: Visual Representation of Form and Space in Updike’s Short Fiction,” Kangqin Li, University of Leicester, UK

“’People Like Themselves’: Class in John Updike’s Couples,” Richard Androne, Albright College

“Evil in Eastwick and Eden: John Updike’s Application of Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Nothingness,” John McTavish, independent scholar, Huntsville, Ontario

The Other John Updike: Poems, Essays, and Children’s Books (May 28, 2:00-3:20 p.m.)

Chair: Judith Newman, University of Nottingham

“’I’ve Grown to Love it Here’: John Updike’s Subversive Poetics,” Edward Allen, The University of South Dakota

“’Yes, But’: Updike Reviews Hemingway,” Peter Bailey, St. Lawrence University

“John Updike’s Children’s Books: Introducing The Archangel,” Brian Steffen, independent scholar, Oswego, New York

In addition, society president James Plath was invited to participate in a four-person roundtable on “Websites of American Author Societies: What Are Their Goals? Who Are They For?”

The conference will take place at The Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Ave., Boston, where the Society was launched two years ago. And the business meeting for the Society, to which all members are invited, is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, from 3:30-4:50 p.m. All participants must be registered for the conference, and details are available at the ALA link on the Society’s webpage left menu.

Persimmontree Magazine has a regular section called “short takes,” in which writers share small, lyric essays and reminiscences on a topic, and member Jack De Bellis drew our attention to the fact that Volume 16 (Winter 2010-11) features “My Night with John Updike,” by Lynne Davis.

She begins, “It’s not what you’re thinking. It’s not at all what you’re thinking.

“It started with a flyer in the mail room. On cream-colored paper, a man with a teacup. John Updike. He was coming to our rural Midwestern university.

“You could hear the whispers in the hall. ‘John Updike? The JohnUpdike? Why is he coming here?

“I fell in love with him when I was in college, when I read one of his stories in The New Yorker, ‘The Music School.’ His phrasing was lyrical, precise, so delicately balanced—like a Mozart piano concerto.”

To read more, follow this link to Persimmontree Magazine and scroll down for the rest of the story.