January 2012

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The John Updike Society will sponsor one panel at ALA this year, and it features two presenters new to the Society.

“John Updike in Context”

“Much Ado About Nothing: Boredom, Banality, and Bathos in Late Henry Green and Early John Updike.” David Brauner, University of Reading (UK)

“Rabbit and America’s Shared Identity Crisis,” Christopher Love, University of Southern Mississippi

“Villages: Updike Homes in Fiction, Memoir, and Essay,” Peter J. Bailey, St. Lawrence University

Chair/Moderator: Edward Allen, The University of South Dakota


Here are reviews of Higher Gossip that have come to our attention. Check back. The list will grow:

“Higher Gossip: Essays and Criticism.” Publishers Weekly. 12 September 2011. “The hallmarks of his agile, eloquent prose are evident throughout . . . .”

“Higher Gossip.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review). 15 September 2011. “A potpourri of pieces from the busy pen of the gifted Updike (1932-2009) who shows that he could write convincingly about nearly anything.”

“Higher Gossip: Essays and Criticism.” Brad Hooper. Booklist Online. 15 October 2011. “Lines to remember jump out left and right. This one is in reference to Raymond Carver, ‘Some hard times are part of every writer’s equipment.'”

“‘Higher Gossip: Essays and Criticism’ by John Updike.” William H. Pritchard. The Boston Globe. 28 October 2011. “As a whole these varied pieces partake of the major aims of all art: to ‘sidestep mortality with feats of attention, of harmony, of illuminating connection’; to give, in the final words of the introduction to collected early stories, ‘the mundane its beautiful due.'”


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Although The John Updike Society is looking toward a Second Biennial Conference in Boston, June 12-16, 2012, we still need members who are planning (or willing) to attend the American Literature Association conference in San Francisco on May 24-27, 2012. The Society is responsible for sponsoring at least one session, preferably two, as well as a business meeting.

If you can make it to San Francisco and have an idea for a paper, please submit it to James Plath (jplath@iwu.edu) by January 10. Rather than calling for papers for specific panel topics this year, we’ll build panels around the abstracts that come in.