Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Old Girlfriends

Old Girlfriends


David Updike

St. Martin's Press



In this brilliantly told short story collection, critically acclaimed author David Updike skillfully portrays the multi-faceted nature of love and of the heart. From a father's painful realization his son has discovered the dark heart of racism still beats, to a quiet love affair that needs an audience to bloom; from the bumbling of a professor who unwittingly falls for one of his students to the wistful memories of a bittersweet affair tinged in regret, Updike portrays the intricacies of loving someone with candor. Full of sparkling wonder and poignant melancholy alike, Old Girlfriends is a clear-eyed vision of the world we live in. Drifting from the unrequited to the secretive, the familial to the first poetic moments, this soulful collection leaves no avenue of expression untouched.


Praise for Old Girlfriends

“David Updike does himself--and his late father, John--proud with his second collection, Old Girlfriends… these 10 ruminative stories set in New England sport a winning sense of whimsy, quiet surprise, and fresh, frank sensuality.” —Elle Magazine

Old Girlfriends is full of such soft yet charged moments, as the author weaves everyday observances into larger truths. Updike [is] a craftsman with a style his own.” —Boston Globe

“Poetic and elegant...David Updike has the ability to craft a subtle and poignant story.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Old readers something his father never did--story after story we can crawl into and live within. Several of these stories have masterful endings--and all of them are gentle, nuanced, worthwhile.” —The Buffalo News

“Thoughtful work from a writer clearly unintimidated by the family name.” —Kirkus Reviews

“David Updike's stories are wonderful -- small enough that you are startled by the compressed, strong emotion, expansive in what they suggest about taking a stand, taking a chance, living a meaningful life. Trees are often mentioned here, and I'd say they embody a spiritual presence that presides over the stories, anchored in Earth but reaching for something higher.” —Ann Beattie

“David Updike's Old Girlfriends is deceptively simple. In these stories about family and lovers and race, Updike skillfully depicts longing and bafflement as the stuff of our daily lives. Told in measured, that is, skilled prose, these stories soon reveal something more: all is not as it seems, safety is elusive and warmth vanishes as suddenly and surprisingly as it has miraculously appeared. Quiet complexities emerge like ink in magic paper. The wonderment can be seen if one is watchful and David Updike is watching very carefully. Adept in language and beautiful in observation, his report back to us is clear and endearing and then suddenly when you least expect it, startling.” —Susan Minot

“David Updike is clearly filled with a special kind of compassion for his characters, the flawed ones, the broken-hearted ones, the ones who break hearts themselves. Old Girlfriends is a deftly written collection, gentle, contemplative, and warming.” —Jami Attenberg

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

David Updike

DAVID UPDIKE is the author of Out on the Marsh as well as an illustrated quartet for young readers: A Winter Journey, An Autumn Tale, A Spring Story, and The Sounds of Summer. His short stories have been published in The New Yorker, Epiphany, and Sargasso, among others. He is also a photographer and photographically illustrated the children's book, A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects, written by his late father, writer John Updike. He teaches English at Roxbury Community College in Boston and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his family.

David Updike

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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