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Tarbox, Massachusetts is a fictional town that serves as the setting for the 1968 novel Couples and several short stories by American author John Updike. Many commentators, including a columnist in the local Ipswich Chronicle, asserted that the fictional town of Tarbox was based on Ipswich, the small coastal town where Updike lived from 1957 to 1974. Updike denied the suggestion in a letter to the paper.
Tarbox was founded in 1634 and is located near Plymouth, approximately 30 miles south of Boston (the same distance that Ipswich is north of Boston). Its permanent population is about 8,000 and it contains hundreds of small-yarded homes as well as many 17th century saltboxes.
Tarbox's downtown business district includes three banks, two hardware stores and a Woolworth's and the town is famous for the natural beauty of its many salt marshes, orchards and farms.
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only four writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.
Hamilton is a rural-suburban town in the eastern central portion of Essex County in eastern Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, it had a population of 7,764. Currently the town has no manufacturing industry and no industrially-zoned land.
Shillington is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with a population of 5,273 at the 2010 census nestled amongst other suburbs outside Reading. It is perhaps best known for being the location of the homestead to Pennsylvania's first governor, Thomas Mifflin, and as the childhood home of American author John Updike. Many of Updike's stories take place in the fictional town of Olinger, a lightly-disguised version of Shillington, and in its environs.
The Zodiac Killer is the pseudonym of an American serial killer who operated in Northern California from at least the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The unidentified killer originated the name in a series of taunting letters and cards sent to the San Francisco Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms.
Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,175 at the 2010 census. Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest, and for Crane Beach, a barrier beach near the Crane estate. Ipswich was incorporated as a town in 1634.
The Witches of Eastwick is a 1984 novel by American writer John Updike. A sequel, The Widows of Eastwick, was published in 2008.
The North Shore is a region in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, loosely defined as the coastal area between Boston and New Hampshire. The region is made up both of a rocky coastline, dotted with marshes and wetlands, as well as several beaches and natural harbors. The North Shore is an important historical, cultural, and economic region of Massachusetts. It contains the cities of Salem, known worldwide as the site of the Salem Witch Trials; and Gloucester, site of Charles Olson's Maximus Poems, and of Sebastian Junger's 1997 creative nonfiction book The Perfect Storm and its 2000 film adaptation. Beverly was home to author John Updike until his death.
Brewer, Pennsylvania is a fictional city that serves as the major setting for American writer John Updike's "Rabbit" cycle of novels. It is the center of the only fictional universe which Updike developed across multiple works, and symbolically represents his assessment of American culture from 1959 to 1999.
Merrymount Press was a printing press in Boston, Massachusetts, founded by Daniel Berkeley Updike in 1893. He was committed to creating books of superior quality and believed that books could be simply designed, yet beautiful. Upon his death in 1941, the Press was taken over by his partner John Bianchi, but ceased operations in 1949. Updike and his Merrymount Press left a lasting impression on the printing industry, and today Updike is considered one of the most distinguished printers of the twentieth century. Stanley Morison, the typographer responsible for creating the ubiquitous Times New Roman, had this to say of the Merrymount Press after Updike's passing: “The essential qualities of the work of the Merrymount Press...may be said without exaggeration…to have reached a higher degree of quality and consistency than that of any other printing-house of its size, and period of operation, in America or Europe.”
Henry Bech is a fictional character created by American author John Updike. Bech first appeared in assorted short stories, stories which were later compiled in the books Bech: A Book (1970), Bech Is Back (1982), and Bech at Bay (1998). These books were all later collected in The Complete Henry Bech (2001), which also included the short story His Oeuvre (2000).
Wickford is a small village in the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States, which is named after Wickford in Essex, England. Wickford is located on the west side of Narragansett Bay, just about a 20-minute drive across two bridges from Newport, Rhode Island. The village is built around one of the most well-protected natural harbors on the eastern seaboard, and features one of the largest collections of 18th century dwellings to be found anywhere in the northeast. Today the majority of the village's historic homes and buildings remain largely intact upon their original foundations.
Ipswich River is a small river in northeastern Massachusetts, United States. It held significant importance in early colonial migrations inland from the ocean port of Ipswich. The river provided safe harborage at offshore Plum Island Sound to early Massachusetts subsistence farmers, who were also fishermen. A part of the river forms town boundaries and divides Essex County, Massachusetts on the coast from the more inland Middlesex County. It is 35 miles (56 km) long, and its watershed is approximately 155 square miles (401 km2), with an estimated population in the area of 160,000 people.
Daniel Berkeley Updike was an American printer and historian of typography. In 1880 he joined the publishers Houghton, Mifflin & Company, of Boston as an errand boy. He worked for the firm's Riverside Press and trained as a printer but soon moved to typographic design. In 1896 he founded the Merrymount Press.
Couples is a 1968 novel by American author John Updike.
John Kemble Tarbox was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.
Olinger Stories: A selection is a short story collection by John Updike first published in 1964. This volume contained no stories newly published in book form, but reprinted stories from Updike's earlier collections. The short stories, set in the fictional town of Olinger, Pennsylvania are in large part autobiographical, about a boy growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania as Updike did. In an early interview, Updike once said, "they are dear to me, and if I had to give anyone one book of me it would be the Vintage OLINGER STORIES."
The Early Stories: 1953–1975, published in 2003 by Knopf, is a John Updike book collecting much of his short stories written from the beginning of his writing career, when he was just 21, until 1975. Only four stories published in this entire time period have been omitted from this collection by John Updike himself: "Intercession", and "The Pro", "One of My Generation", and "God Speaks". The majority of the stories were originally published in The New Yorker magazine. In 2004, the book received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
The culture of New England comprises a shared heritage and culture primarily shaped by its indigenous peoples, early English colonists, and waves of immigration from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. In contrast to other American regions, most of New England's earliest Puritan settlers came from eastern England, contributing to New England's distinctive accents, foods, customs, and social structures.
The literature of New England has had an enduring influence on American literature in general, with themes such as religion, race, the individual versus society, social repression, and nature, emblematic of the larger concerns of American letters.