Roger's Version

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.

Price: $275.00

First trade edition. Fine in spine-sunned else near fine dustwrapper. Inscribed by the author: "for Herb Yellin, the sprinkler king and my most patient fan. All best, John Updike." Herb Yellin was the founder and publisher of Lord John Press and the most frequent of Updike's fine press collaborators. He named his press after noting that the list of authors he wanted to publish all shared the same first name, chief among them John Updike, his favorite. Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu became the press's first book in 1977 with 10 more to follow over the next 23 years. Yellin's friendship with Updike grew with each new limited edition benefitting his already enormous Updike collection, with Updike himself contributing copies of new editions of his books - often inscribed. In a 2010 interview with Yellin he noted that Updike "...liked that if anything ever happened to his own collection, he had my collection on the opposite side of the country." A notable association.

Item #401686

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Roger's Version. John UPDIKE.

John Updike
birth name: John Updike
born: 3/18/1932
died: 1/27/2009

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Biography

American writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, known for his careful craftsmanship and realistic but subtle depiction of "American, Protestant, small-town, middle-class" life. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literaturemore

Collecting tips:

If you want to collect John Updike in detail, you'd better build an addition onto your library. Its not true that he publishes a new book every week, it just seems like it, and his cheery indifference to writers' block has probably made him an editor's dream. He is generous with his signature, and apparently open to offers from publishers of limited editions. His first three books, a book of poetry The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958); a book of short stories, The Poorhouse Fair (1959); and a novel Rabbit, Run (1960); are all moderately scarce in fine condition. The Carpentered Hen, despite being a slim volume of verse, tends to have a weak binding, so check to see if the text block has fallen forward much. The jacket copy also has to mention that the author has two children, as he apparently kept busy and two more children had appeared when the second issue came out. Reportedly the jacket on Rabbit, Run was identical through the first few printings, so you might want to check to see if it's been "married" to a first edition from a later printing (be suspicious if the jacket, which usually absorbs the most wear, is in better condition than the book). Because Updike has done so many limited and ephemeral pieces, some are truly rare: Dog's Death (1965), a short poem on a single mimeographed sheet, supposedly done in an edition of 100 copies is rarely seen (we've had it once). Although not so rare, his celebration of the last plate appearance of Ted Williams Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu (1977), a signed, limited edition, enjoys extra collecting pressure from baseball hobbyists, and especially Red Sox fans, and copies are occasionally seen signed by Williams, although they weren't necessarily intended to be. His work on Buckner's Bobble has yet to be written, but don't mention it or he'll have it out sometime next week.

Email us to request a printed copy of our catalog of John Updike Rare Books and First Editions (or download it via the link as a 3.73 MB pdf file).

We also offer a comprehensive John Updike Bibliography and Price Guide.more