Here is John Updike's first collection in seven years: stories that, in various ways, partake of a glow as life beyond middle age is explored and found to have its own particular amazements, from omniscient golf caddies to the deaths of mothers and the births of grandchildren.
As death approaches, life takes on, for some of these aging heroes, a translucence, a magical fragility; vivid memory and casual misperception lend the mundane an antic texture; and the backward view, lengthening, acquires a certain grandeur.
As is usual in Mr. Updike's fiction, spouses quarrel, lovers part, children are brave, and houses with their decor have the presence of personalities. His is a world where innocence stubbornly persists, and fresh beginnings almost outnumber losses.
The stories included are: The Man Who Became a Soprano, The Afterlife, The Other Side of the Street, Farrell's Caddie, and Grandparenting.