To complement his work as a fiction writer, John Updike accepted any number of odd jobs - book reviews and introductions, speeches and tributes, a "few paragraphs" on baseball or beauty or Borges - and saw each as "an opportunity to learn something, or to extract from within some unsuspected wisdom." In this, his largest collection of assorted prose, he brings generosity and insight to the works and lives of William Dean Howells, George Bernard Shaw, Philip Roth, Muriel Spark, and dozens more. Novels from outposts of postmodernism like Turkey, Albania, Israel, and Nigeria are reviewed, as are biographies of Cleopatra and Dorothy Parker. The more than a hundred considerations of books are flanked, on one side, by short stories, a playlet, and personal essays, and, on the other, by essays on his own oeuvre. Updike's odd jobs would be any other writer's chief work.
Used availability for John Updike's Odd Jobs
November 1992 : USA Hardback
January 1992 : UK Hardback
October 1991 : USA Hardback
December 2012 : USA Paperback
December 1992 : UK Paperback
December 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition