In 1956 John Updike wrote a short story about newly-weds Joan and Richard Maple. Over the next two decades he returned to this couple again and again, tracking their years together as they raise children and deal with the heartbreak of infidelity and estrangement. Gathered here for the first time in hardcover – and with the addition of a later story, 'Grandparenting’, that shows us the Maples after their divorce – THE MAPLES STORIES offers a nuanced portrait of two deeply flawed but moving characters and their entwined lives.
’Though the Maples stories trace the decline and fall of a marriage, they also illumine a history in many ways happy, of growing children and a million mundane moments shared. That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing really succeeds. The moral of these stories is that all blessings are mixed.’
– From the Foreword by John Updike