My Father's Tears and Other StoriesBook - 2009
"Personal Archaeology" considers life as a sequence of half-buried layers, and "The Full Glass" distills a lifetime's happiness into one brimming moment of an old man's bedtime routine. High-school class reunions, in "The Walk with Elizanne" and "The Road Home," restore their hero to youth's commonwealth where, as the narrator of the title story confides, "the self I value is stored, however infrequently I check on its condition." Exotic locales encountered in the journeys of adulthood include Morocco, Florida, Spain, Italy, and India. The territory of childhood, with its fundamental, formative mysteries, is explored in "The Guardians," "The Laughter of the Gods," and "Kinderszenen." Love's fumblings among the bourgeoisie yield the tart comedy of "Free," "Delicate Wives," "The Apparition," and "Outage."
In sum, American experience from the Depression to the aftermath of 9/11 finds reflection in these glittering pieces of observation, remembrance, and imagination.
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Updike tells it like it is. No mysticism, no fantasy, the cruel adulterated societies found embedded in all the world cultures, on every continent. Alluding to current politics and major events like 911, one could be reading a biography of non fiction. The bitterness of love bites everyone in some shape or form, while humanities selfish intent strangles hold of our psychology. We don't know what we have until it's gone. A bittersweet ending to every story leaves the reader yearning for a future that's just a little more sane, peaceful, and emits beauty around hidden corners. Humanity has the knowledge and power to create a better world, that's the epiphany and the message.
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