John Cheever

John Cheever

John William Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born, and Italy, especially Rome. He is "now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the 20th century." While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer"), he also wrote four novels, comprising The Wapshot Chronicle (National Book Award, 1958), The Wapshot Scandal (William Dean Howells Medal, 1965), Bullet Park (1969), Falconer (1977) and a novella Oh What a Paradise It Seems (1982).

His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit. Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.

A compilation of his short stories, The Stories of John Cheever, won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Critics Circle Award, and its first paperback edition won a 1981 National Book Award.

On April 27, 1982, six weeks before his death, Cheever was awarded the National Medal for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been included in the Library of America.

Read more about John Cheever:  Early Life and Education, Illness and Death, Bibliography

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Cheever - Career - Later Life and Career
... review from Benjamin DeMott on the front page of The New York Times Book Review "John Cheever's short stories are and will remain lovely birds.. ... But in the gluey atmosphere of Bullet Park no birds sing." Cheever's alcoholic depression deepened, and in May he resumed psychiatric treatment (which again ... On May 12, 1973, Cheever awoke coughing uncontrollably, and learned at the hospital that he had almost died from pulmonary edema caused by alcoholism ...
Benjamin Cheever - Works Edited
... The Letters of John Cheever (Simon Schuster Adult, 2009) Synopsis—John Cheever, father of Benjamin Cheever, was a novelist, short-story and winner of a Pulitzer Prize and ... John Cheever wrote letters to famous writers, family, friends, and lovers ... These letters show John Cheever's development as a writer and a man ...
John Cheever - Bibliography
1973) Falconer (novel, 1977) The Stories of John Cheever (stories, 1978) Oh What a Paradise It Seems (novella, 1982) The Letters of John Cheever ...

Famous quotes containing the word cheever:

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    —John Cheever (1912–1982)