“Dazzling . . . an exceptionally intelligent study of writers and their work that illuminates both the pleasures of literature in all its many guises and the alchemical transactions that go on behind its pages.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[Updike’s] books of criticism must surely be the finest engagement with the contemporary novel by a living practitioner. [He is] not afraid to speak about the novel in its own language—to use metaphor not so much to explicate as to deepen the mystery of literary art.”—James Wood, Times Literary Supplement
“Updike’s talent is positively Victorian in its energy, productiveness, and scope—a prodigious talent, fueled by an enthusiasm for life and for ‘the wish to do justice to the real world’ that he finds embodied in books. . . . One of our greatest novelists is also, arguably, our greatest critic of literature.”—Phyllis Rose, The Boston Globe
About the Author
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.