Another John Said

A & P was a grocery store chain. My stepfather worked at it, I thought, although he never spoke much about work. It was a well-known chain and abundant around the Pittsburgh suburbs where I lived from four years old until I was fifteen.

When I read John Updike’s short story, “A & P”, in English class in 1972, it struck me how vividly and accurately he’d portrayed the average store and its customers and employees. I had no plans to be a writer then. I just enjoyed reading. I preferred science fiction and adventure until then but then I read Catch 22, Catcher in the Rye, Pornoy’s Complaint, and Herzog, and my interests shifted.

A & P are gone now, only known through literature, entertainment, and memories.


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