Too Far to Go
The Maples Stories
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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.
“The Maples stories trace the decline and fall of a marriage,” writes the author in his Foreword, a marriage that is threatened early on by the temptations of infidelity (“Snowing in Greenwich Village”) and that ends in a midlife divorce (“Here Come the Maples”). “They also illumine a history in many ways happy, of growing children and a million mundane moments shared.” That all blessings are mixed and fleeting does not make them less real, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing real succeeds. “A tribe segregated in a valley develops an accent, then a dialect, and then a language all its own; so does a couple. Let this collection preserve one particular dead tongue, no easier to parse than Latin.”
Imitation of Life - New Yorker
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:37:01 -0700
New YorkerImitation of LifeNew YorkerLong after he left Ipswich, he collected these ephemera and had them published as a book: ...
In the press
“Updike sees his subject as being, in part, ‘what Freud called “normal human unhappiness,” ’ [and his] greatest delineation of it comes in the stories about Richard and Joan Maple, a young married couple who get off to a shaky start in the fifties and shakily stay together for twenty-some years. . . . This is prime Updike.”—The Boston Phoenix
“The Maples speak out loud and clear, and very much in their own voices. . . . ‘Your Lover Just Called,’ most of which is written in dialogue, is a story of classic perfection, worthy of Maupassant or Chekhov.”—Brooke Allen
“These scenes from a marriage encapsulate what many associate with classic Updike. . . . They are painstaking portraits of a bygone era . . . described in luscious, luminous prose.”—The Christian Science Monitor