Higher Gossip presents John Updike's last collection of essays, poems and short stories. 'Gossip of a higher sort' was how the incomparable John Updike described the art of the review. Here then is the last collection of his best, most dazzling gossip. Influential reviews of Toni Morrison, John le Carre and Ann Patchett and expert critique on exhibitions of El Greco, Van Gogh and Schiele are included alongside previously uncollected short stories, poems and essays on his 'pet topics'. Following earlier prose collections More Matter and Due Considerations, Updike began compiling Higher Gossip shortly before his death in 2009. Displaying his characteristic humour and insight on subjects as varied as ageing, golf, dinosaurs, make-up and his own fiction, the delightful Higher Gossip bookends a legacy of over fifty celebrated titles. Praise for Higher Gossip: 'All illuminating cross-section of his whole career. It will be required reading for Updike's many fans, but it also serves as an excellent pick'n'mix introduction to his omnivorous intellectual range' Daily Telegraph 'Measured, erudite, and humorous writings' Boston Globe 'Updike was that rare creature: an all-around man of letters, a literary decathlete who brought to his criticism an insider's understanding of craft and technique; a first-class appreciator of talent . . . an ebullient observer [with] a contagious, boyish sense of wonder' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954, and spent a year in Oxford, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. His novels, stories, and nonfiction collections have won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in January 2009. Christopher Carduff, the editor of this volume, is a member of the staff of The Library of America.