February 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 6.13.57 PM“Mrs Updike,” a 90-minute radio play by Margaret Heffernan “about the tempestuous relationship between one of the most famous American writers of the twentieth century, John Updike, and his mother,” was broadcast today by BBC Radio and can be heard online for the next seven days. Thanks to member Andrew Moorhouse for tipping us off to it.

“Mrs Updike” features Eileen Atkins as the title character, Charles Edwards as John Updike, Josef Lindsay as Young John Updike, Stuart Milligan as Wesley, Garrick Hagon as Springer, Joseph May as the Interviewer, and Lorelei King as Lara. Heffernan has written three plays for radio, “including a pair of plays about Enron.”  Read the rest of this entry »

A big round of thanks to Peter J. Bailey, who put together the Society’s panels for the 2013 American Literature Association conference at the Westin Copley Place, Boston, Mass., May 23-26, and thanks to those who responded to the call for papers and moderators.

Panel One: Domestic Terror/Domestic Restoration

Chair:  Sylvie Mathé, Aix-Marseille University

  • “John Updike’s Patriotism in Terrorist: The Power of the “Novel” in the Twenty-First Century,” Takashi Nakatani, Yokohama City University
  • “Updike’s Terrorist: Rewriting the Domestic Myth,” Judie Newman, University of Nottingham
  • “Putting John Updike in the Updike Childhood Home,” Maria L. Mogford, Albright College

Panel Two: Epochs of Updike

Chair: Judie Newman, University of Nottingham

  • “The Poorhouse Fair: The Liberal State and Its Discontents,” Yoav Fromer, New School for Social Research
  • “Linking Couples and 50 Shades of Grey: The Times Are Only Sort of A-Changin,’” Josh Zajdman, independent scholar
  • “Updike’s Late Stories: The Art of Mourning,” Peter J. Bailey, St. Lawrence University

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 10.17.00 PMDetails are now available for member Larry Mazzeno’s book, Becoming John Updike: Critical Reception, 1958-2010. Camden House will publish the 270-page book in hardcover on April 1, 2013. SRP is $85 U.S.

Publisher’s description: When John Updike died in 2009, tributes from the literary establishment were immediate and fulsome. However, no one reading reviews of Updike’s work in the late 1960s would have predicted that kind of praise for a man who was known then as a brilliant stylist who had nothing to say. What changed? Why? And what is likely to be his legacy?

These are the questions that Becoming John Updike pursues by examining the journalistic and academic response to his writings.

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