John Updikeâ€™s first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Fatherâ€™s Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.â€œPersonal Archaeologyâ€ considers life as a sequence of half-buried layers, and â€œThe Full Glassâ€ distills a lifetimeâ€™s happiness into one brimming moment of an old manâ€™s bedtime routine. High-school class reunions, in â€œThe Walk with Elizanneâ€ and â€œThe Road Home,â€ restore their hero to youthâ€™s commonwealth where, as the narrator of the title story confides, â€œthe self I value is stored, however infrequently I check on its condition.â€ Exotic locales encountered in the journeys of adulthood include Morocco, Florida, Spain, Italy, and India. The territory of childhood, with its fundamental, formative mysteries, is explored in â€œThe Guardians,â€ â€œThe Laughter of the Gods,â€ and â€œKinderszenen.â€ Loveâ€™s fumblings among the bourgeoisie yield the tart comedy of â€œFree,â€ â€œDelicate Wives,â€ â€œThe Apparition,â€ and â€œOutage.â€In sum, American experience from the Depression to the aftermath of 9/11 finds reflection in these glittering pieces of observation, remembrance, and imagination
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