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European Perspectives on John Updike

From the publication in 1958 of his first book, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures, the American writer John Updike attracted an international readership. His books have been translated into twenty-three languages. He had a strong following in the United Kingdom, where his books were routinely reviewed in all the leading national newspapers. In Germany, France, Italy, and other countries too, his books were discussed in major publications. Although Updike died in 2009, interest in his writing remains strong among European scholars. They are active in the John Updike Society and on the John Updike Review (which began publishing in 2011). During the past four decades, several Europeans have influenced the study of Updike worldwide. No recent volume, however, collects diverse European views on his oeuvre. The current book fills that void, presenting essays that perceive Updike's renditions of America through the eyes of scholar-readers from both Western and Eastern Europe. Contributors: Kasia Boddy, Teresa Botelho, Biljana Dojcinovic, Brian Duffy, Karin Ikas, Ulla Kriebernegg, Sylvie Mathe, Judie Newman, Sue Norton, Andrew Tate, Aristi Trendel, Eva-Sabine Zehelein. Laurence W. Mazzeno is President Emeritus of Alvernia University. Sue Norton is a Lecturer in English at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
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This book doesn't just cover new critical ground - it's an eye-opening take on an author whose fiction has been associated with American pop culture as much as anyone's. Especially in this new climate of nationalism it's an important reminder that opinions can and do vary according to culture and geography, and that we can learn much about ourselves and our treasured authors through volumes such as this.-James Plath, Illinois Wesleyan University This is a timely and smart collection that wonderfully illuminates the diverse critical response that Updike's fiction has generated outside of the United States. The twelve essays in the book fruitfully revisit the themes (sex, mortality, aging, religion) that were most central to Updike's immense body of work while also shedding light on new avenues of inquiry that future scholars might pursue. Indeed, the volume offers a revealing overview of what made Updike one of the most important writers of his generation. A thoughtful and important collection for those interested in Updike and post-1945 American fiction.-Matthew Shipe, Washington University in St. Louis

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