Hugging the Shore (Magill's Literary Annual 1984)
Since the appearance of his first book, a collection of poetry entitled The Carpentered Hen (1958), almost three decades ago, John Updike has published with systematic regularity, and his readers have come to expect a book each year from him. The 1983 addition to the Updike canon, Hugging the Shore follows Assorted Prose (1965) and Picked-Up Pieces (1975) as another generous sample of the author’s nonfiction prose. In this latest collection, largely an assemblage of reviews done for The New Yorker during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Updike displays a truly remarkable range of scholarship and perception about the works of his contemporaries both in the United States and abroad. The grand sweep over the entire field of literature that he makes in Hugging the Shore suggests comparison with critics such as Edmund Wilson and T. S. Eliot.
Not all of the pieces in this collection, however, deal with literature; Updike has also included character sketches, lectures, and reviews of books on religion, science, history, and art. One may wonder what prompted Updike to write many of these rather odd bedfellows; he says in the foreword that he was the instigator of some, while others were suggested to him. Nevertheless, it is clear that he is able to handle any assignment with a deftness that is at times almost...
(The entire section is 1949 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1984)
Christian Science Monitor. October 3, 1983, p. 32.
Esquire. C, November, 1983, p. 197.
Harper’s. CCLXVII, September, 1983, p. 63.
Library Journal. CVIII, September 15, 1983, p. 1798.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. September 25, 1983, p. 3.
The New York Review of Books. XXX, November 24, 1983, p. 26.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVIII, September 18, 1983, p. 1.
Newsweek. CII, September 19, 1983, p. 78.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXIV, July 29, 1983, p. 56.
(The entire section is 53 words.)