M y earliest short story, "Ace in the Hole", was submitted towards the end of by a married Harvard senior to Albert Guerard's creative-writing course. Guerard, the very model of a cigarette-addicted Gallic intellectual, liked the story - he said it frightened him, an existential compliment - and suggested I send it to the New Yorker, which turned it down. The next year, though, after my story "Friends from Philadelphia" and some poems had been accepted by the magazine in my first post-collegiate summer, I resubmitted "Ace in the Hole" and it was accepted. It was run in April , towards the back of the magazine; such was the reading public's appetite for fiction then that "casuals" a curious in-house term lumping fiction and humour appeared in "the back of the book" as well as up front.

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A comprehensive table of the complete stories with links to each story summary appears below. The commentaries include the Maple and Bech stories, most of which are excluded from the Library of America edition. Contact the editor for questions, debates or corrections. Updike would edit it significantly more when he prepared it for publication in The Early Stories in , making some changes that look unnecessary, if not literarily pretentious.

His mother is glad he got fired. Meaning Jews. It makes you wonder: why, after almost fifty years, make three editing changes that are intently bigoted, and that neither add anything to the story nor relate to anything else in the story a recurring weakness in Updike: detail upon detail is elucidated in one part of a story with no connection whatsoever to other parts, underscoring his mode of describing for its own sake. After the encounter with his mother, Ace runs home.

He lives close enough. He dumps his daughter in her crib and goes off to the bathroom to admire himself in the mirror, fussing with his hair. The narcissus theme warming up. Then the encounter with Evey. But the story ends with Ace dancing with her. He flipped his own hair back from his eyes.

The music ate through his skin and mixed with the nerves and small veins; he seemed to be great again, and all the other kids were around them, in a ring, clapping time. Bad boys are more interesting than tame ones. Updike is warming up our cockles for Harry Angstrom, five years away. Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar.

Click to order. Ace In the Hole. Friends From Philadelphia. A Game of Botticelli. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth. Dentistry and Doubt. Snowing in Greenwich Village The Maples. The Kid's Whistling. Toward Evening. Who Made Yellow Roses Yellow. Wife-wooing The Maples. Giving Blood The Maples. Twin Beds in Rome The Maples. The Bulgarian Poetess Bech. Bech in Rumania. Bech Takes Pot Luck. Rich in Russia Bech.

Bech Swings? Bech Enters Heaven. Daughter, Last Glimpse Of. Augustine's Concubine.


Ace In The Hole

It was short with little interesting action. The main character, Ace Anderson, seems to be a teenager trapped in an adults body. He gets fired from his job because he dents his bosses car trying to park it in a tight parking spot. This is where the title of the story comes from except it is ironic because Ace did not make it in the hole. On his way home he gets in a race with some young kids, which is irresponsible. He and his mother lite a cigarrette infront of his infant child which is terrible for her health.


Reading the John Updike stories: 'Ace in the Hole'

By Jim Higgins of the Journal Sentinel. The Library of America recently published 'John Updike: The Collected Stories,' a two-volume boxed set of stories arranged in chronological order. In a post last week , I explained what's not in this collection and vented a little about that. Now, let's get on to the stories.


Smoke signals

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