John Updike’s memoirs consist of six Emersonian essays that together trace the inner shape of the life, up to the age of fifty-five, of a relatively fortunate American male. The author has attempted, his foreword states, “to treat this life, this massive datum which happens to be mine, as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in this world.” In the service of this metaphysical effort, he has been hair-raisingly honest, matchlessly precise, and self-effacingly humorous. He takes the reader beyond self-consciousness, and beyond self-importance, into sheer wonder at the miracle of existence.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
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About the Author
John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.
Date of Birth:March 18, 1932
Date of Death:January 27, 2009
Place of Birth:Shillington, Pennsylvania
Place of Death:Beverly Farms, MA
Education:A.B. in English, Harvard University, 1954; also studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England
Read an Excerpt
i. A Soft Spring Night in Shillington
Excerpted from "Self-Consciousness"
Copyright © 2012 John Updike.
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What People are Saying About This
. . .one persists in approaching memoirs like Self-Consciousness wondering what more there is for the author to say. Not surprisingly, considering Mr. Updike's prolific articulateness, there is a great deal more. . . .Yet at the end of Self-Consciousness, none of Mr. Updike's puzzles are solved.. . . you sense that for him the only verity remains what it always has been: writing is all. -- The New York Times