U & I | Granta

  • Published: 07/07/2011
  • ISBN: 9781847083517
  • 129x20mm
  • 192 pages

U & I

Nicholson Baker

When Nicholson Baker, one of the most linguistically talented writers in America, set out to write a book about John Updike, the result was no ordinary biography. Instead Baker’s account of his relationship with his hero is a hilarious story of ambition, obsession, talent and neurosis, alternately self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing. More memoir than literary criticism, Baker is excruciatingly honest, and U & I reveals at least as much about Baker himself as it does about his idol. Written twenty years before Updike’s death in 2009, U & I is a very smart and extremely funny exploration of the debts we owe our heroes.

Nicholson Baker is a canny modern writer. He is building a sharp and singular library of the interior life and U and I is a decisive and welcome addition

Robert Winder, Independent

An intense, touchy, rivalrous extended essay on his obsession with John Updike ... neither Updike nor anyone else could write a book quite like this


A subtle, funny and, in its way, profoundly serious study of the means by which art and artists are made

John Banville, Irish Times

The Author

Nicholson Baker was born in New York in 1957. He is the author of eight novels, including The Mezzanine, Vox and Room Temperature, all published by Granta Books, and five non-fiction works, including a book about John Updike, U & I, and Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, for which he won the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Nicholson Baker on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 76

La Mer

Nicholson Baker

‘I heard Debussy's side-slipping water-slopes, with cold spray blown off their crests’