For his invaluable guidance during every stage of this book's creation, I wish first and foremost to thank Mark Bauerlein. Additionally, I wish to thank Peter Dowell and Barbara Ladd for their helpful advice and encouragement during the book's earliest stages. Much warmth and gratitude go to James Yerkes, Ralph Wood, and Avis Hewitt for their enthusiasm and their clear-eyed editorial suggestions later on in the writing process. And for their much-appreciated support and patience, I wish to thank Clair Willcox and Jane Lago.
To complete the final revision of this book, I was aided by a Rhodes College Faculty Development Endowment Grant, for which I wish to thank the 1997–1998 members of the Faculty Development Committee. For allowing me to use previously published material, I wish to thank the editors at Contemporary Literature and the people at Eerdmans Publishing. A substantially revised section of chapter 2 originally appeared as “The Black Jesus: Racism and Redemption in John Updike's Rabbit Redux, ” Contemporary Literature 39 (spring 1998): 99–132. Portions of chapter 3 originally appeared as “The World and the Void: Creatio ex Nihilo and Homoeroticism in Updike's Rabbit Is Rich, ” in John Updike and Religion: The Sense of the Sacred and the Motions of Grace, edited by James O. Yerkes, 162–79 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999).
For their support and their friendship, I wish to thank the members of the Rhodes College English Department, with special recognition going to Bob Entzminger, mentor and friend.
Finally, a warm bear hug to Tod Marshall, kindred soul.