John Updike Review highlights Updike Tucson casitas

Volume 10, Number 2 (Spring 2024) of The John Updike Review was recently published, and Updike society members have been quick to comment on the stunning cover: a photograph of the Tucson casitas that John and Martha Updike owned and lived in each spring between 2004-2008. The photo was taken by the journal’s editor, James Schiff, when attendees at the 7th Biennial John Updike Society Conference in Tucson had the opportunity to tour the casitas.

Inside this most recent issue is a special section on Updike and the West, featuring an introduction by Schiff and an essay on “Discovering the Updike Casitas” by conference co-director Jan Emery, who, along with husband Jim, owns the casitas.

Also included in the special section is a reprint of Updike’s “A Desert Encounter,” in which he describes the loss of a beloved hat in the parking lot as a result of his attempt to prune the ocotillo off their back decks. That hat was on display at the casitas for the conference tour, but will be returned to The John Updike Childhood Home in Shillington, where it is usually displayed. Rounding out the special section are three papers expanded from presentations at the conference: Sue Norton’s “Pruning the Self: Authorial Presence in ‘A Desert Encounter,'”; Christopher Love’s “Contracted Space: John Updike and the American West”; and Matthew Shipe’s “Way Out West: Revisiting┬áA Month of Sundays.

The issue’s lead essay is a reminiscence on “Capote and Updike” by filmmaker Jan Sch├╝tte, with additional essays by Peter J. Bailey (“Bowing Out: Retirement Rue in Ford and Updike”), Louis Gordon (“Updike’s Rabbit and Roth”), Donald J. Greiner (“Updike’s Pilgrimage Toward Divorce”), and Presleigh-Anne Johnson (“Mainstream or Multicultural? Greek Food and American Identity in John Updike’s Rabbit Redux“).

The John Updike Review is published twice annually by the University of Cincinnati and The John Updike Society and is based at the University of Cincinnati, Department of English and Comparative Literature, with Nicola Mason serving as managing editor.

Members of the society living in the U.S. receive print copies as part of their membership, while members living elsewhere receive digital copies.

All submissions are welcome, and can be sent directly to James Schiff via email:

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