In this short novel, Joey Robinson, a thirty-five-year-old New Yorker, describes a visit he makes, with his second wife and eleven-year-old stepson, to the Pennsylvania farm where he grew up and where his aging mother now lives alone. For three days, a quartet of voices explores the air, making confessions, seeking alignments, quarreling, pleading, and pardoning. They are not entirely alone: ghosts (fathers, lovers, children) press upon them, as do phantoms from the near future (nurses, lawyers, land developers). Of the Farm concerns the places people choose to live their lives, and the strategies they use to stand their ground.
About the Author
John Updike was born in 1932, 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, and since 1957 has lived in Massachusetts. He is the author of fifty-odd previous books, including twenty novels and numerous collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His fiction has 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.
“A small masterpiece . . . With Of the Farm, John Updike has achieved a sureness of touch, a suppleness of style, and a subtlety of vision that is gained by few writers of fiction.”—The New York Times
“An excellent book . . . [Updike] has the painter’s eye for form, line, and color; the poet’s ear for metaphor; and the storyteller’s knack for ‘and then what happened?’ ”—Harper’s
“Updike is a master of sheer elegance of form that shows itself time and again.”—Los Angeles Times