Library of America to publish Updike’s collected stories in two volumes

LibraryThing, an online service that helps people catalog their books, ran a thread begun on December 14 that noted the Library of America 2013 calendar lists John Updike as one of the authors that will be published next year. Later in the thread David Cloyce Smith, who works at Library of America, confirmed that LOA will publish John Updike’s collected stories in two volumes that will be published together.

According to Smith, the stories will be arranged chronologically by the dates Updike sent the final manuscripts off to The New Yorker. Alas, the set will not include the Maples stories or Bech books, the latter of which Smith said LOA hopes to publish in the near future.

Smith said that the two-volume LOA edition will include “more than a dozen stories that were not collected in Updike’s story collections. Two of them have never before appeared in a trade book edition; the others have appeared in Updike’s prose miscellanies (Assorted Prose, the posthumous Higher Gossip, etc.).”

That’s good news for Updike scholars. LOA published the collected stories of Raymond Carver in a definitive edition that took into account the author’s intent when more than one version appeared in print. Updike, as most of his readers know, was a compulsive reviser who made changes nearly every time he revisited a story or novel. It would be nice to have a definitive LOA collection.

Here’s the link to the LibraryThing thread.

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