Submission Date


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Faculty Mentor

Charles A. Jamison


Presented at the Ursinus College Summer Research Student Symposium on July 27, 2001.

Project Description

Linda Grace Hoyer was a brilliant individual. She graduated from Ursinus College at the age of nineteen, received a master's from Cornell University, and after many years of diligent work, published two novels and a myriad of short stories. She lived an unusual life: reflective, feminine in her thought processes, but nevertheless somewhat stubborn in a time when women were meant to fill a subordinate role. I have found through my research that Hoyer's brilliance did not lie in her intellect and writing alone. In fact, as demonstrated by her literature's autobiographical nature, her brilliance as a writer seemed to stem from her unique ability as a human being and mother. Through short stories and letters that were never published, as well as through an interview with her son, John Updike, I found that she had a very deep capacity to love. This love manifested itself in a strong bond with her native Pennsylvania, in her forty-some cats, and in her son. She loved the farm where she was born (and later died) despite the years she spent there utterly alone. She loved her son despite his fame and prestige; fame and prestige she never experienced as a writer. She loved to write, despite bearing seemingly endless rejections. It was her love, as a woman and mother, which emanated from her writing, and made her the brilliant author that she was.

Open Access

Available to all.