The Maples Stories consists of eighteen classic stories fromacross John Updike’s career, forming a luminous chronicle of the life and timesof one marriage in all its rich emotional complexity. In 1956, Updike publishedthe story “Snowing in Greenwich Village,” about a young couple, Joan andRichard Maple, at the beginning of their marriage. Over the next two decades,he returned to these characters again and again, tracing their years togetherraising children, finding moments of intermittent happiness, and facing theheartbreak of infidelity and estrangement.
This third story in the collection finds Richard and Joan Maplein their ninth year of marriage. A brilliant metaphor full of irony and eloquentprose, “Giving Blood” reveals to listeners a hint of the tension and verballacerations that are slowly but surely causing the destruction of a marriage.