Brazil is a 1994 novel by the American author John Updike. It contains many elements of magical realism, it is a retelling of the ancient tale of Tristan and Isolde, the subject of many works in opera and ballet. Tristão Raposo, a nineteen-year-old black child of the Rio de Janeiro slums, spies Isabel Leme, an eighteen-year-old upper-class white girl, across the hot sands of Copacabana Beach, presents her with a ring stolen from an American tourist, their flight into marriage takes them from urban banality to the farthest reaches of Brazil’s wild west, where magic still rules. Privation, violence and poverty afflict them. Ancient charms change him to white and her to black, yet Tristão and Isabel hold on to the belief that each is the other’s fate for life, as they develop in ways they never thought possible. Critic James Wood described it as'full of soft writing'
A debut novel is the first novel a novelist publishes. Debut novels are the author's first opportunity to make an impact on the publishing industry, thus the success or failure of a debut novel can affect the ability of the author to publish in the future. First-time novelists without a previous published reputation, such as publication in nonfiction, magazines, or literary journals struggle to find a publisher. Sometimes new novelists will self-publish their debut novels, because publishing houses will not risk the capital needed to market books by an unknown author to the public. Most publishers purchase rights to novels debut novels, through literary agents, who screen client work before sending it to publishers; these hurdles to publishing reflect both publishers' limits in resources for reviewing and publishing unknown works, that readers buy more books by established authors with a reputation than first-time writers. For this reason, literary communities have created awards that help acknowledge exceptional debut novels.
In contemporary British and American publishing markets, most authors receive only a small monetary advance before publication of their debut novel. For an example of an unusually high advance: in 2013, the anticipated City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg captured the attention of ten publishers who started a bidding war that ended with Knopf buying the rights to the book for 2 million dollars; the book's film production rights were purchased soon after by producer Scott Rudin. For similar reasons that advances are not large—novels don't sell well until the author gains a literary reputation. There are exceptions, however; the novel saw huge sales because she had an established audience, publishers were willing to run a large print run. By comparison, bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey sold 14,814 copies in its first week, or popular novels, like Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, only receive small initial print runs. Debut novels that do well will be reprinted as sales increase due to word of mouth popularity of the novels — publishers don't run large marketing campaigns for debut novelists.
There are numerous literary prizes for debut novels associated with genre or nationality. These prizes are in recognition of the difficulties faced by debut novelists and bring attention to deserving works and authors; some of the more prestigious awards around the world include the American Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the French Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, the British Guardian First Book Award, the German Aspekte-Literaturpreis and the Japanese Noma Literary Prize. The New York Times commentator Leslie Jamison described the big, very public, "to do" about debut novels and novelists created by these book awards, as associated with the excitement of finding authors and writers without established legacies. In the same piece for the Times, Ayana Mathis describes the debut novel as a "a piece of the writer’s soul in a way that subsequent books can’t be", because the novel is a work of passion and a product of all of their life before that moment. An author's first novel will not be as complex stylistically or thematically as subsequent works and will not feature the author's typical literary characteristics.
Huffington Post's Dave Astor attributes these to two forces: first that authors are still learning their own unique style and audiences are more willing to read works from unknown authors if they resemble more conventional styles of literature. As examples, Astor points to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman and Charles Dickens' The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, all of which lack the complexity or stylistic characteristics which audiences praise in the authors' work. Sometimes, instead of writing novels to begin their career, some authors will start with short stories, which can be easier to publish and allow authors to get started in writing fiction. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest attested usage of "first novel" is from 1876. However, the term is much older, with instances going back to at least 1800; the Oxford English Dictionary doesn't have an entry for "debut novel." The earliest usage of "debut novel" in the Google Books database is 1930.
The Google Books Ngram Viewer shows it becoming more used after about 1980, gaining in popularity since
Roger's Version is a 1986 novel by American writer John Updike. The novel is about Roger Lambert, a theology professor in his fifties, whose rather complacent faith is challenged by Dale, an evangelical graduate student who believes he can prove that God exists with computer science. Roger becomes obsessed with the thought that Dale is having an affair with Esther. Roger himself becomes involved with his niece Verna, a coarse but lively nineteen-year-old and single parent whose own mother had a sexual hold over him when they were in their teens. Verna, frustrated by her poverty and limited opportunities, becomes abusive towards her one and a half year old, mixed-race daughter, Paula. Roger, out of sympathy for her situation and his increasing sexual attraction for her, begins to tutor Verna so she can earn her high school equivalency. One evening, when Paula refuses to go to sleep, Verna hits her. Roger, after helping Verna disguise the assault as a playground accident from the hospital staff, has sex with her.
Dale, grows depressed and disillusioned when his computer data does not seem to point to the existence of God. The novel ends with Verna leaving Boston to return to her parents in Cleveland and Roger and Esther receiving temporary custody of Paula; the novel's structure and themes are based somewhat on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, with Roger Lambert representing Roger Chillingworth, his wife Esther Hester Prynne, Dale Arthur Dimmesdale and Paula Hester's illegitimate daughter Pearl. The review for Publisher's Weekly called the novel a novel focused on longstanding themes of Updike's "reason versus faith. All of these themes are mediated by the narrating character Roger, which Lodge describes as at times " over head, at least on first reading." Publisher's Weekly was not impressed with the novel, writing "for all Updike's finesse and dexterity in the deployment of ideas, there is more arcane computerology here than readers, including his most devoted, can digest by force-feeding, more theology as well.
Most readers will think the characters contrived, mouthpieces for the perspectives they espouse."Some voices were praiseworthy of the novel, with David Lodge writing "one finishes with gratitude - for it is challenging and educative -and with renewed respect for one of the most intelligent and resourceful of contemporary novelists."
The Witches of Eastwick (musical)
The Witches of Eastwick is a 2000 musical based on the novel of the same name by John Updike. It was adapted by John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe, directed by Eric Schaeffer, produced by Cameron Mackintosh; the story is based around three female protagonists, the'Witches' Alexandra Spofford, Jane Smart, Sukie Rougemont. Frustrated and bored by their mundane lives in the town of Eastwick, a shared longing and desire for "all manner of man in one man" comes to life in the form of a charismatic stranger, a devil-like character, Darryl Van Horne. Seducing each of the women in turn Darryl teaches them how to further expand the powers locked within, though their new unorthodox lifestyle scandalizes the town; as these powers become more sinister and events spiral out of control, the women come to realise that Darryl's influence is corrupting everyone he comes into contact with and resolve to use their new-found strength to exile him from their lives. Starring Ian McShane in the lead role of Darryl Van Horne and Maria Friedman, Lucie Arnaz and Joanna Riding as the three witches, the show began its preview period in London's West End on June 24, 2000 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Opening on July 18 to mixed-positive reviews, the decision was taken to transfer to the more intimate Prince of Wales Theatre from March 23, 2001. Ian McShane left and was replaced by his understudy, Earl Carpenter, whilst the physical production was revised to fit in the smaller theatre. A number of lyrics and scenes were revised and the song'Who's the Man?' was replaced with a rousing gospel number entitled'The Glory of Me'. A general cast change from July 1, 2001 saw Clarke Peters lead the company, with Josefina Gabrielle and Rebecca Thornhill as Alex and Sukie joining Joanna Riding who stayed with the show after receiving the Olivier Award nomination for the role; the show received favourable reviews with the second cast but, after a 15-month run, closed on October 27, 2001. Ian McShane as Darryl Van Horne Lucie Arnaz as Alexandra Spofford Joanna Riding as Jane Smart Maria Friedman as Sukie Rougemont Rosemary Ashe as Felicia Gabriel Stephen Tate as Clyde Gabriel Caroline Sheen as Jennifer Gabriel Peter Jöback as Michael Spofford Gee Williams as Fidel Sarah Lark as Little Girl Jasna Ivir as Gina Marino Tim Walton as Joe Marino Anne-Marie McCormack as Gretta Neff Kevin Wainwright as Raymond Neff Lisa Peace as Marge Persley Shaun Henson as Homer Persley Earl Carpenter as Reverend Ed Parsley Kathryn Akin as Brenda Parsley Jocelyn Hawkyard as Rebecca Barnes Nick Searle as Toby Bergman Valda Aviks as Eudora Bryce Matt Dempsey as Curtis Hallerbread Scarlett Strallen as Mavis Jessup Julia Sutton as Franny Lovecraft Chris Holland as Frank Ogden Alison Forbes as Mabel Ogden Maurice Lane as Dr Henry Pattison Jean McGlynn as Marcy Wills Earl Carpenter replaced Ian McShane as Darryl Van Horne on March 23, 2001 Clarke Peters replaced Earl Carpenter as Darryl Van Horne on July 1, 2001 Josefina Gabriel replaced Lucy Arnaz as Alexandra Spofford on July 1, 2001 Rebecca Thornhill replaced Maria Friedman as Sukie Rougemont on July 1, 2001 Paul Spicer replaced Peter Jöback as Michael Spofford on July 1, 2001 Elizabeth Yeats replaced Jasna Ivir as Gina Marino on July 1, 2001 Christopher Howell replaced Kevin Wainwright as Raymond Neff on July 1, 2001 Amanda Villamayor replaced Kathryn Akin as Brenda Parsley on July 1, 2001 The first international production opened in Australia at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne.
Starring Paul McDermott as Darryl van Horne, with Marina Prior, Angela Toohey and Pippa Grandison as Jane and Sukie with Sabrina Batshon, future finalist of Australian Idol season 7, as The Little Girl, Matt Lee as Michael Spofford, the show began previews on 19 August 2002. Revisions were made, including new lyrics and the excision of one number,'Loose Ends'. However, the show never found an audience and closed on 17 November 2002; the Russian production opened in Moscow on 12 March 2003 using new sets as well as on-stage rain and fire effects. The role of Darryl van Horne was double-cast with Dmitriy Pevtsov and Aleksey Kortnev sharing the part. Other roles were played by two or three actors. A brief revival was held in 2007, with scaled down sets and effects, but with Pevtsov reprising his role; the premiere in the Czech Republic opened on February 2007 at the Brno City Theatre, directed by Stanislav Moša and choreographed by Igor Barberić. The show was translated into Czech by Jiří Josek and produced the first commercial recording since the Original London Cast album.
The American premiere opened at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in a limited engagement from June 5, 2007 through July 15, 2007. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the original director and Signature Theatre's Artistic Director, the cast starred Marc Kudisch as Darryl Van Horne, Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as Sukie Rougemont, Emily Skinner as Alexandra Spofford, Christiane Noll as Jane Smart. Kudisch received the Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical; the authors made numerous changes to the show. Numbers were abbreviated and added. Scenes and songs were re-arranged, the production received positive notices; the Washington Post reviewer wrote that "The musical adaptation has way more kick than the wispy 1987 film.... It's on the technical level that's production still has kinks to work out, for until the actresses are airborne... the mechanics look and feel clunky." BroadwayWorld.com stated that "director Eric Schaeffer pulls The Witches of Eastwick all together... does it succeed."
CultureVulture.net commented that the show is "full of body-shaking thunder, raunchy behavior, surprises. Gut
Telephone Poles is the second book of poetry written by American writer John Updike. The collection was published by Knopf in 1963. In The New York Times, critic X. J. Kennedy wrote, "Of younger writers in America today John Updike is our leading pyrotechnist. Few can make words so obligingly sizzle and flash, so light up the landscape of suburbia. While dazzling his readers in the last five years with five novels and books of stories, Updike has been turning out satiric verse and light poetry galore: 66 pieces in this new collection, most of them first contributed to The New Yorker, he is, it seems, like some designer of Explorer rockets who hasn't enough to do, in his spare time touching off displays of Roman candles... It shows Updike to be on occasion a poet of rare depth and competence. We ought to have expected this — if not from his earlier book of light verse, The Carpentered Hen from the grim lyricism of the novel, Run. Admirers of his fiction will see his verse as the work of his hand.
The same compassionate scrutiny informs such a poem as "The Short Days," with its evocation of a suburban morning: In Updike's verse, too, is his wry awareness of the small absurdities we live with daily." The New York Times on Telephone Poles John Updike: The Poetry Foundation, Biography John Updike: The Poetry Foundation, Poems
Rabbit at Rest
Rabbit at Rest is a 1990 novel by John Updike. It is the final novel in a series beginning with Rabbit, Run. There is a related 2001 novella, Rabbit Remembered; the novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991, the second "Rabbit" novel to garner that award. This novel is part of the series that follows the life of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom from 1960 to 1990. Rabbit at Rest focuses on the years 1988–89. Harry, nearly 40 years after his glory days as a high school basketball star in a mid-sized Pennsylvania city, has retired with Janice, his wife of 33 years, to sunny Florida during the cold months, where Harry is depressed, dangerously overweight and desperate for reasons to keep on living. Unable to stop nibbling corn chips, macadamia nuts and other junk food, Rabbit nearly dies after a heart attack while sunfishing with his nine-year-old granddaughter, Judy. In a "redemption" of the drowning death of his infant daughter Rebecca in the earlier novel Rabbit, Run, he saves Judy from drowning during their sunfishing afternoon.
He is distracted from his own existential worries by the acts of his drug-addicted son, Nelson, to whom Janice has given control of the family's thriving business, a Pennsylvania Toyota dealership. The discovery that Nelson has been stealing from the company to support his drug habit leads to Harry losing the family business. Despite his problems and growing unhappiness, he manages to take some comfort in Judy, who has turned out to be beautiful and charming, a reminder of himself in his high-school glory days, he is less attached to his four-year-old grandson Roy, who seems wary and fearful of Rabbit, much like Nelson. While recuperating from heart surgery, Rabbit recognizes one of the nurses, Annabelle Byer, as the young woman he believes is his illegitimate daughter by his old girlfriend, Ruth, he decides not to identify himself as her possible father. Around this time, his long-term mistress Thelma Harrison dies of lupus. Ron confronts Harry at Thelma's funeral, but the men reconcile while playing golf.
Harry sees Cindy Murkett at the funeral, a woman he had sexually obsessed over 10 years ago, is saddened to see she has become an obese and bitter divorcee. After Nelson comes back from a treatment program, Janice begins work as a real estate agent, the family finds out that Harry has had a one-night stand with Pru, Nelson's wife, on the night after he was released from the hospital. Janice's anger over this betrayal prompts Harry to escape to Florida. While in hiding, Harry has a heart attack shortly after winning a one-on-one basketball game with a local youth. Nelson and Janice manage to get to his bedside, his personal business now resolved as much as possible, therefore his life's work completed, Rabbit dies. New York Times review Photos of the first edition of Rabbit At Rest
The Early Stories: 1953–1975
The Early Stories: 1953–1975, published in 2003 by Knopf, is a John Updike book collecting much of his short stories written from the beginning of his writing career, when he was just 21, until 1975. Only four stories published in this entire time period have been omitted from this collection by John Updike himself: "Intercession", "The Pro", "One of My Generation", "God Speaks"; the majority of the stories were published in The New Yorker magazine. In 2004, the book received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction; the stories are not arranged chronologically but rather by theme into eight sections: "Olinger Stories", "Out in the World", "Married Life", "Family Life", "The Two Iseults", "Tarbox Tales", "Far Out", "The Single Life". ^ 1. Stories collected in Too Far to Go, reprinted in 2009 as The Maples Stories.^ 2. Despite being published in 1976, this story was written a year earlier