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David Updike

Autor(a) de Old Girlfriends: Stories

8+ Works 80 Membros 2 Críticas

About the Author

David Updike is the author of Out on the Marsh as well as an illustrated quartet for young readers: A Winter Journey, An Autumn Tale, A spring Story, and The Sounds of Summer. His short stories have been published in The New Yorker, Ep;phany, and Sargasso, among others. He is also a photographer mostrar mais and photographically illustrated the children's book A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects, written by his late father, writer John Updike. He teachers English at Roxbury Community College in Boston and lives Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his family. mostrar menos

Obras por David Updike

Old Girlfriends: Stories (2009) 24 exemplares
Out on the marsh : stories (1988) 18 exemplares
A winter journey (1985) 11 exemplares
The Sounds of Summer (1993) 7 exemplares
An Autumn Tale (1988) 7 exemplares
Seven Times Eight (1990) 6 exemplares
A Spring Story (1989) 6 exemplares
IVY'S TURN (2006) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

20 Under 30 (1986) — Contribuidor — 90 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



David Updike led a class in short fiction at The New England Writer’s Conference I attended back in the 80s. Recently, I heard David read from his latest book, Old Girlfriends. “Adjunct” tells the story of a part-time college instructor. Having spent a couple of years in this position, I was drawn to this story and his description of several experiences we shared. Little did I know the book held many, many more associations for me than a temporary teaching assignment.

All the stories have a high degree of craftsmanship. The diction flows smoothly and neatly, conveying vivid images, thoughts, and emotions. These stories provide the reader with serious, thought-provoking situations. For example, “Shining So Nicely in the Sun” is the most poignant story, telling of the narrator’s last visit with his grandmother. Many memories of my own grandmother came to mind.

In the first story of the collection, “Geraniums,” the narrator has rented two rooms in a house with two other borders. The story ends with an epiphany about his landlord, a fellow tenant, and Sashi, his girlfriend, all of whom are at a party:

“As they stood there talking, something finally left him, and he could feel himself smiling back, all four smiling, and for once he saw the beauty and sadness of their love, the loneliness of circumstance, the hardship of things to come. He could see, too, that they had wanted him to know all along: all love needs an audience, and he had become theirs. Without his even knowing, they had adopted him their son” (15).

This passage reminds me of the epiphanies in James Joyce’s Dubliners. Furthermore, this story really sets the tone for the collection. I had such a warm feeling, I immediately read it again – something I did with several stories in Old Girlfriends.

The title story was my favorite, however. The narrator, Trevor, is in therapy, and he examines his relationships with past and current girlfriends. After a long, difficult drive in a snow storm, Trevor arrives at his parent’s home with his latest love interest. She has a certain amount of caution about the visit, but when they arrive, Trevor has some hesitation:

“He turned off the car and it spluttered to silence, just a few odd ticks of it cooling. He could hear the individual snowflakes landing on the windshield and roof, gathering, thrumming with motion, momentum, a million tiny explosions that had powered them there. He took his bag from the back and started to get out, then stopped. He slipped the key back into the ignition and turned, but nothing happened – not even the tick, tick, tick of the starter motor, trying. There was only the sound of snowflakes on the windshield, adding to the whiteness. He turned the key again, and again, but still there was no other sound – only the snowflakes and the silence, silence all around” (151).

I can’t remember a better description of silence since the closing lines of Joyce’s final story in Dubliners, “The Dead.” The parallels with the great Irish writer are all there for the careful reader to enjoy. 5 stars

--Jim, 2/27/10
… (mais)
rmckeown | 1 outra crítica | Feb 28, 2010 |
This was a delightful little collection of stories!

I was amazed and awed at how much emotion, and story was squeezed into the tiny little tales of love in this book. Each story was unique and complex.

Well worth picking up this book and allowing yourself a decadent journey through its pages.
gypsiesbooks | 1 outra crítica | Sep 13, 2009 |


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