The Coup

The Coup

By John Updike

Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780394502687, 320pp.

Publication Date: November 1978

"The Coup" describes violent events in the imaginary African nation of Kush, a large, landlocked, drought-ridden, sub-Saharan country led by Colonel Hakim FElix EllelloU. ("A leader," writes Colonel EllelloU, "is one who, out of madness or goodness, takes upon himself the woe of a people. There are few men so foolish.") Colonel EllelloU has four wives, a silver Mercedes, and a fanatic aversion--cultural, ideological, and personal--to the United States. But the U.S. keeps creeping into Kush, and the repercussions of this incursion constitute the events of the novel. Colonel EllelloU tells his own story--always elegantly, and often in the third person--from an undisclosed location in the South of France.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author
John Updike's novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. He died of lung cancer in 2009, at age 75.

Praise For The Coup

“One of Updike’s boldest and most imaginative performances.”—Newsweek
“Ellelloû is an extraordinary tour-de-force of a character. . . . What a rich, surprising, and often funny novel The Coup is.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A very funny book as well as a serious one. It’s the work of an intelligent and funny and passionate man—and it’s good.”—The Washington Post Book World