The twenty-two stories in John Updike's eleventh collection explore life beyond middle age and find it to have its own wonders, from omniscient golf caddies to prescient sexual rumours, from losing mothers to gaining grandchildren. As death approaches, some of the ageing heroes find that life takes on a translucence and magical fragility, others that travel heightens perceptions and tensions. As is usual in Updike's fiction, spouses quarrel, lovers part, children are brave and houses have the presence of personalities. His is a world where innocence stubbornly persists, and fresh beginnings almost outnumber losses.
John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of the New Yorker to which he has contributed poems, short stories, essays and reviews. Since 1957 he has lived in Massachusetts. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Howells Medal.