S.: A Novel

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Random House Publishing Group, Mar 13, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
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S. is the story of Sarah P. Worth, a thoroughly modern spiritual seeker who has become enamored of a Hindu mystic called the Arhat. A native New Englander, she goes west to join his ashram in Arizona, and there struggles alongside fellow sannyasins (pilgrims) in the difficult attempt to subdue ego and achieve moksha (salvation, release from illusion). “S.” details her adventures in letters and tapes dispatched to her husband, her daughter, her brother, her dentist, her hairdresser, and her psychiatrist—messages cleverly designed to keep her old world in order while she is creating for herself a new one. This is Hester Prynne’s side of the triangle described by Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter; it is also a burlesque of the quest for enlightenment, and an affectionate meditation on American womanhood.


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S

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A companion piece to Roger's Version, this is Updike updating Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter by having Hester Prynne—here, Sarah Worth—get her two cents in as well. Sarah is a Boston-area matron who ... Read full review

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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Described as Updike's retelling of The Scarlet Letter from Hester's point of view, S . follows middle-aged doctor's wife Sarah Worth as she leaves her stifling security for life on a desert commune ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

John Updike was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.

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