In this antic riff on Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, the Reverend Tom Marshfield, a latter-day Arthur Dimmesdale, is sent west from his Midwestern parish in sexual disgrace. At a desert retreat dedicated to rest, recreation, and spiritual renewal, this fortyish serial fornicator is required to keep a journal whose thirty-one weekly entries constitute the book you now hold in your hand. In his wonderfully overwrought style he lays bare his soul and his past—his marriage to the daughter of his ethics professor, his affair with his organist, his antipathetic conversations with his senile father and his bisexual curate, his golf scores, his poker hands, his Biblical exegeses, and his smoldering desire for the directress of the retreat, the impregnable Ms. Prynne. A testament for our times.
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.
“John Updike may be America’s finest novelist and [A Month of Sundays] is quintessential Updike.”—The Washington Post
“Updike is playful, witty, ironic, ever-fresh, ever-provocative, and ever so ever erotic. . . . A Month of Sundays is both poignant and very funny. . . . One of America’s most original, most subtle, and most engaging writers.”—The Boston Globe
“The funniest book that anyone is likely to read in, well, a month of Sundays . . . an excellent novel . . . Updike is dazzling in his wordplay.”—The Cleveland Press