Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories

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Paperback, 279 pages
Ballantine Books, 1996
First Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition, Fourth Printing

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.”

Editorial Reviews

"A Brilliant Performance." --The Boston Globe

"Electricity lights his prose like a Christmas tree....So full of fire and ice that it almost breaks through to some 'fourth dimension' in writing." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Updike is not merely talented; he is bold, resourceful and intensely serious....We hear talk now and then of a breakthrough in fiction, the achievement of a new attitude and hence a new method; something like that seems close at hand in Pigeon Feathers." --Saturday Review

"Some of the most beautiful writing in contemporary American literature is between the covers of this book." --Boston Herald

"A sustained pleasure... A world seen and described and interpreted by a subtle, poetic, intellectual, wondering consciousness...These are wonderfully written pieces." --Library Journal

About the Author

John Updike 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.