PIGEON FEATHERS ~
Book review and technical detail PIGEON FEATHERS ~ John Updike
|Technical detail of PIGEON FEATHERS ~|
|Title||PIGEON FEATHERS ~|
|Category||Fiction & Literature|
|Publisher||Random House Trade Paperbacks|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
The eclat of this writer's career (The Poorhouse Fair, 1959, and Run. Rabbit, 1960, together with his book of verse and an earlier volume of short stories) make this book of special interest. The twenty inclusions sustain his reputation, for the tangible sense of words, the illumined percipience, and the spare patterns of his landscapes fit well into the short story form. Here, from the insistence of a child's developing awareness of the world and the adults in it, to the association with death, and the small exchanges of married couples, are precise traceries of people not only in their environment but in their unresolved relations with others. An early morning breakfast (The Crow in the Woods), the revelation of religion and its connection with killing pigeons (the title story), an honest answer to a child adopted through an international charity (Dear Alexander), an American at an English art school (Still Life), a divinity student as a Lifeguard, the progress of a boy's rebellion (Flight) -- are some of those that display the distinctive qualities that mark Updike's work, while the others offer contrasts in the variety of their subjects. For the connoisseurs, a collection of merit.
When this classic collection of stories first appeared—in 1962, on the author’s thirtieth birthday—Arthur Mizener wrote in The New York Times Book Review: “Updike is a romantic [and] like all American romantics, that is, he has an irresistible impulse to go in memory home again in order to find himself. . . . The precise recollection of his own family-love, parental and marital, is vital to him; it is the matter in which the saving truth is incarnate. . . . Pigeon Feathers is not just a book of very brilliant short stories; it is a demonstration of how the most gifted writer of his generation is coming to maturity; it shows us that Mr. Updike’s fine verbal talent is no longer pirouetting, however gracefully, out of a simple delight in motion, but is beginning to serve his deepest insight.”
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