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Cover for John Updike

John Updike

Novels 1978-1984 (LOA #339): The Coup / Rabbit Is Rich / The Witches of Eastwick

John Updike, Christopher Carduff (Editor)


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The third volume of Library of America's five-volume edition of Updike's novels features the continuation of the renowned Rabbit saga and two wickedly funny satires set in the charged realms of sex, politics, and family.

The third volume in our five-volume selected edition of the novels of John Updike includes three books: The Coup, one of Updike's most outlandish satires, set in a fictional African nation; Rabbit Is Rich, the third, and many say best, novel starring his most famous protagonist; and the wildly popular The Witches of Eastwick, which was memorably adapted in the film starring Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, and Jack Nicholson. In The Coup, a surprising departure from his prior novels, Updike stages a withering take down of an array of targets, from American materialism and its baleful effects on the developing world to the follies of Cold War geopolitics and the fevered megalomania of the dictatorial mind. In Rabbit Is Rich, the third installment of the Rabbit tetralogy, we meet up with Harry Angstrom, now 46, dealing as best he can with the challenges and cares of midlife, a time when "you are carrying the world in a sense and yet it seems more out of control than ever." In The Witches of Eastwick, Updike imagines a small New England town possessed by magic--at least as practiced by the female trio at its center who, freed from the burdens of their marriages, make common cause and unleash their whimsical witchcraft on Eastwick's narrow-minded townspeople.

Library of America, 9781598536775, 950pp.

Publication Date: April 13, 2021

About the Author

John Updike (1932–2009) was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania. 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. He is the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, essays, and criticism. His novels won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Howells Medal, among other honors.

Christopher Carduff is Books Editor of The Wall Street Journal and a former consulting editor at the Library of America. He is the editor of John Updike’s posthumous collections Higher Gossip: Essays and CriticismAlways Looking: Essays on Art, Selected Poems, and Collected Stories.