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Author: Updike, John

Genre: Short Story

Year: 1961


"A & P" remains Updike's most anthologized story and one of his most popular.

Sammy's encounter with a trio of swimsuited girls in the grocery store where he works encompasses many of the themes central to adolescence, including accepting the repercussions of one's choices. When Sammy quits in protest of how the girls are treated by the store's manager, he knows that from now on, the world will be a more difficult place.

Critics have responded enthusiastically to "A & P," and readers' identification with Sammy's predicament has contributed to the story's popularity. Though little action occurs in the story, Sammy's character is finely drawn in the space of a few pages, and his brush with authority has large implications.


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