|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
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.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
John Updike wrote a lot of fiction over several decades so he should know a little bit about it when he says he believes that ''most of the best fiction is written out of early impressions, taken in before the writer became conscious of himself as a writer,''. He begins by going to the source of his own early impressions and in this book subtitled "memoirs" he includes six vignette-like essays about his life. The first chapter is familiar to readers of his short stories since in ''A Soft Spring Night in Shillington'' - the first of the six essays - he returns in 1980 to the town in southeastern Pennsylvania where he spent his earliest childhood, and discovers, walking through its streets, that the past cannot after all be recaptured. ''Shillington, its idle alleys and darkened foursquare houses, had been my idea.'' The idea had been stronger than the reality. It is a fascinating journey made more so by my own recognition that my home town is in many ways unrecognizable to me as well. He continues to cover those episodes that had a major impact on his consciousness (thus the title) over the years. For those readers who enjoy Updike's beautiful prose this memoir provides a pleasant journey.
My 2 cents: I read this mainly to see how he dealt with his psoriasis, and I have to say it was illuminating int hat respect.