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Seek My Face | [John Updike]

Seek My Face

In John Updike's twentieth novel, the 78-year-old painter Hope Chafetz, who in the course of her eventful life has been Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, and Hope Holloway, answers questions put to her by a New York interviewer named Kathryn, and recapitulates, throughout the story of her own career, the triumphant, poignant saga of postwar American art.
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Publisher's Summary

John Updike's twentieth novel, like his first, The Poorhouse Fair (1959), takes place in one day, a day that contains much conversation and some rain. The 78-year-old painter Hope Chafetz, who in the course of her eventful life has been Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, and Hope Holloway, answers questions put to her by a New York interviewer named Kathryn, and recapitulates, throughout the story of her own career, the triumphant, poignant saga of postwar American art. In the evolving relation between the two women, the interviewer and interviewee move in and out of the roles of daughter and mother, therapist and patient, predator and prey, supplicant and idol. The scene is central Vermont; the time is the early spring of 2001.

©2002 by John Updike; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The novel achieves a remarkable depth of characterization and a glowing beauty in its articulation of the artistic sensibility." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    6/28/08
    Overall
    "Updike's Warhol and Pollock - masterful"

    Having produced so much that is so wonderful, now in his late 70's you begin to wonder whether John Updike still has it in him. His regular short story contributions to The New Yorker are a pleasing palliative, but it is a major work like Seek My Face that completely blows away any unnecessary concerns. John Updike is the best living author, this is one of his best works.
    A simple story structure which effortlessly focuses on the New York school, drawing, sketching, fixing, painting and snapping away until we have unfolded a huge detailed canvas on which he has made the whole of the late part of last century for us - from the 9th Street exhibition through Willem de Kooning to the campy excesses of Andy Warhol. No tricks, but beautiful heart-warming prose and an ocean of emotions and experience.
    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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