, Salem, MA


September 25, 2009

Family territory: Updike's son to read from his short story collection in Salem

When David Updike compares himself, as a writer, to anyone in his family, it is usually to his grandmother. She published two collections of short stories under her maiden name, Linda Grace Hoyer, and lived on a farm in Pennsylvania until her death in 1989.

"Her own literary life was much closer to mine," Updike said. Updike recently published his second collection of short stories, "Old Girlfriends," and will read from them at Cornerstone Books in Salem on Wednesday evening.

"She didn't have another job, but her job was her house and her animals. She was kind of stealing time from that when she wrote," Updike said, "and I'm sort of stealing time from teaching when I write."

After graduating from Harvard in 1980, then "mucking around at odd jobs" for a few years, Updike attended Columbia Teachers College in New York, graduating with a master's degree in 1984. He has worked as a teacher ever since and is a professor of English at Roxbury Community College in Boston.

Not that Updike tries to avoid the literary legacy of his father, John Updike, one of America's best-known authors, who died this January at the age of 76.

In an essay published in 2004, Updike recalled a friend who encouraged him to remove his collection of his father's books from the top of his bookshelf, "on the grounds that their psychological weight was too much, and was probably inhibiting my own attempts to write."

"She didn't seem to grasp," Updike wrote, "that, even if I took them off the shelf and hid them in the closet, my father would still be here, with me, in this room, every time I sit down to write a line or two."

This intense closeness is echoed, and returned, in the dedication to "Old Girlfriends," where Updike embraces his parents, "who have always been with me and always will be."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tuesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Tuesday, July 29

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? Par

    July 29, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker