From his birth in 1923 to his belated paternity and public apotheosis as a spry septuagenarian in 1999, Bech plugs away, globetrotting in the company of foreign dignitaries one day and schlepping in tattered tweeds on the college lecture circuit the next. By turns cynical and naive, wry and avuncular, and always amorous, he is Updike's most endearing confection-a Lothario, a curmudgeon, and a winsome literary icon all in one. A perfect forum for Updike's limber prose, The Complete Henry Bech is an arch portrait of the literary life in America from an incomparable American writer.
Since tales of his exploits began appearing in The New Yorker more than thirty years ago, Henry Bech, John Updike's playfully irreverent alter-ego, has charmed readers with his aesthetic dithering and his seemingly inexhaustible libido.
From Harvard to a staff position on The New Yorker, John Updike turned his brainy pedigree into a successful career as a novelist, essayist and critic. His novels Rabbit, Run (1960), Couples (1978) and Pulitzer winner Rabbit is Rich (1981) exemplify his sophisticated take on contemporary middle-class tragedy. Prolific as all get-out, Updike has also written numerous short stories and poems, and in 1997 he engineered a group-written mystery story on the Internet.