About the Author

John Updike is one of America’s most prominent contemporary authors. He has written novels, short stories, essays, poetry, reviews, articles, memoirs, art criticism, and drama. […]


“A & P” was first published in the July 22, 1961 issue of the New Yorker and was published again the following year in the […]


The action of “A & P” takes place in a grocery store in a town north of Boston that is five miles from the nearest […]

Themes and Characters

The encounter of Sammy, a checkout clerk at an A & P supermarket, with a trio of swimsuited girls encompasses many of the themes central […]

Literary Qualities

Sammy narrates this story in the first person. His voice is colloquial and intimate. His speech is informal, a factor that highlights his individuality and […]

Social Sensitivity

Today it is common for businesses to post signs stating the rules of their premises: “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service,” or for movie theaters […]

Topics for Discussion

1. If three girls in bathing suits walked into your local supermarket, what do you think the reaction would be today? Has society’s attitude towards […]