Roger’s Version

The protagonist in this John Updike novel, Roger, a divinity professor, wants to bed Verna, the single-mother daughter of his half-sister. Roger convinces her to get an abortion.

Adam Begley writes in his biography of John Updike:

In the dingy anteroom, surveying the other “prospective mothers,” he spots a black girl with wet cheeks and an otherwise impassive face, “an African mask, her lips and jaw majestically protruding.” Later, seeing that her tears have dried, he marvels at this “princess of a race that travels from cradle to grave at the expense of the state, like the aristocrats of old.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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