The John Updike Review Vol. 7 No. 2 (Spring 2020) was recently published, and in it editor James Schiff turned the spotlight on The Maples Stories, Updike’s 18-story sequence chronicling the marriage—and divorce—of Richard and Joan Maple, characters based on the author and his first wife, Mary Pennington Updike.
In the “Three Writers on . . .” section—an innovative feature that distinguishes the journal from all others—Schiff (“Updike’s Maples Stories among Literary Depictions of Marriage”) joined Marshall Boswell (“The Maples Stories and the ‘Twilight of the Old Morality'”), Gail Sinclair (“How Far to Have Come: Updike’s Stories of a Marriage”), and Biljana Dojčinović (“‘A Beautiful Disaster’: Marriage in Updike’s Maples Stories“), who reprised comments made on a Maples Stories panel at the May 2019 American Literature Association conference moderated by society president James Plath.
The essays section features contributions from Donald J. Greiner (“Will John Updike ‘Sink’?: Posthumous Reputation and the Fickleness of Literary Fame”), Peter J. Bailey (“Updike’s David Kern Stories”), Sue Norton (“Writing and Well Being: Story as Salve in the Work of (More than) Two Updikes”) and Adel Nouar (“From Irony to Empathy and Back in John Updike’s Terrorist“).
Also included is “The Political Dimension of Updike’s Writing” by Laurence W. Mazzeno, a review of Updike & Politics: New Considerations, edited by Matthew Shipe and Scott Dill.
Print copies and access to online back issues are included with membership in The John Updike Society. The John Updike Review is published by the University of Cincinnati and The John Updike Society, with James Schiff serving as editor and Nicola Mason managing editor.