S. [Hardcover] by John Updike0 233 98255 8
A NOVEL by John Updike
PUBLICATION Andre Deutsch (FIRST EDITION)
Hardcover ISBN 0 233 98255 8 [Â£10]
The story of S. concerns Sarah Worth, a latter-day Hester Prynne who has become enamored of a Hindu religious leader called the Arhat. A New Englander, she goes west to join his commune in Arizona, and there mingles with the other sannyasins (pilgrims) in the difficult attempt to subdue ego and achieve moksha (salvation, release from illusion).
John Updikes thirteenth novel takes the form of letters and tapes that his forty-two-year-old heroine dispatches, to her husband, her mother, her daughter, her brother, her hairdresser, her psychiatrist, her dentist, and others as she strives to keep her old world in order while creating for herself a new one. This is Hesters version of the triangle set forth in Hawthornes Scarlet Letter; it is also a meditation upon American womanhood, a romance, and a religious comedy.