Have Words–Will Write 'Em

On Books, Writers, Most Things Written, Including My Light Verse.

Archive for April, 2014

I Review Adam Begley’s “Updike,” a Biography

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By the time “Rabbit” hit the bookstores Updike was “falling in love, away from marriage.” After Rabbit, Run, sexual elements became stronger in his fiction, and if the Brewer of “Rabbit” was really Reading, Ipswich was really Tarbox, despite Updike’s denials — especially his denials after Couples appeared in 1968. Updike wasn’t the first in his Ipswich crowd to commit adultery, and possibly not the first in his marriage, according to Begley. Mary liked to flirt at parties, and she took a lover in the early ’60s. “With one or two exceptions there was no actual wife-swapping,” no key parties or orgies, but Updike admits in his memoirs he was a “stag of sorts.”

You can read my review of Adam Begley’s Updike in the April 13 edition of the Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row by clicking the image below.

You can buy Begley’s Updike at Barnes & Noble.

Written by Joe Peschel

April 11th, 2014 at 11:57 am

I Review Gina Frangello’s “A Life in Men”

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Frangello’s characters read James Michener, John Updike, Anaïs Nin and Joyce Carol Oates, especially Oates, whose famous open-ended short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is referred to in nearly every other chapter’s title: “Where Are We Going, Where Have We Been?” Like the reader of the Oates story who wonders what really happens to Connie after Arnold Friend picks her up, you wonder what really happened to Nix in Greece. The story of the Greek adventure unfolds in separate chapters throughout the book.

Click on the image below to read my review in the Sunday, April 6, edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Written by Joe Peschel

April 5th, 2014 at 12:24 pm