On Rabbit’s alter ego and new LOA editions

On Feb. 21 in New York City at a Library of America event, writer Kevin Morris and Cornell professor Glenn Altschuler took the stage to discuss Updike’s legacy.

Morris, who had “adopted” John Updike: The Collected Stories through the Guardian of American Letters Fund, is the author of All Joe Knight, a novel in which he “engages in a dialogue with Updike’s famous quartet of Rabbit novels,” as a March 9, 2017 LOA website story summarizes.

“Like Rabbit Angstrom, Morris’s protagonist Joe Knight is from Pennsylvania, is unhappily married to a woman named Janice, and is haunted by the sense that his entire life has been a falling-off since the days when he was a high-school basketball star. Perhaps appropriately for America in the early twenty-first century, however, Joe is even angrier and more profane than his predecessor ever was.

“The resonances between these two characters, along with Updike’s ability to capture the passions, doubts, and longings of America’s post-World War II generation—to ‘give the mundane its beautiful due,’ to use his oft-quoted phrase—were the grist for Morris’s talk with Altschuler.

“Updike fans will be excited to learn that Library of America inaugurates a planned five-volume edition of his novels in 2018; the lead-off volume will include the first book in the Rabbit Angstrom sage, 1960’s Rabbit, Run.

All Joe Knight Amazon link 

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