Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1991 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

Rabbit at Rest by John Updike


Publisher: Penguin

Length: 512 pages

About: Overweight retiree symbolises America's demise

Style: 3rd person

Where: US (Florida & Pensylvania)

When: 1989



Publisher’s synopsis:

In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in mid-life to become a working girl. As, though the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live.



Rabbit wonders how the Dalai Lama is doing, after all that exile. Do you still believe in God, if people keep telling you you are God? 




Fine glints of detail like this dazzlingly and paradoxically fleck Updike's four-decade saga of coarse-grained materialists. And in Rabbit at Rest, a book often sombre and funereal, these reminders of life's transient sensory largesse flicker out with particularly haunting power.

The Sunday Times, Peter Kemp, October 28th 1990

Not so good:

...''Rabbit at Rest'' is certainly the most brooding, the most demanding, the most concentrated of John Updike's longer novels....

Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review 30 September 1990

About the author

John Updike was born in 118 March 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in England on the Knox Fellowship, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker, to which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews. 


Updike married Mary E. Pennington, an art student at Radcliffe College, in 1953. She accompanied him to Oxford, England, where he attended art school and where their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1955. The couple had three more children together: writer David (born 1957), Michael (born 1959) and Miranda (born 1960). They divorced in 1974. In 1977 Updike married Martha Ruggles Bernhard, with whom he lived for more than thirty years in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.


He died of lung cancer at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts, on 27 January 2009, at the age of 76.

































































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<1990> -  <1992>















Page turner







Age guide: 15



Novels by same author:




Rabbit, Run was turned into a movie directed by Jack Smight starring James Caan in 1970. Rabbit Run was the first of 5 Rabbit novels.







2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

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