File this one under “Everything going according to plan.”
Less than a month after the publication of a hefty, definitive biography of John Cheever sparked widespread reconsiderations of the late author’s work, the flagship imprint of Simon & Schuster has confirmed plans to reissue a long out-of-print letters collection edited by Read More
The biographer Blake Bailey knows there’s nothing more invigorating in the world than a proper comeback story, and he’s hoping that pretty soon he’ll have a new one to tell about John Cheever, a writer he believes has been denied his rightful place in the canon of postwar American literature.
Mr. Read More
A bonus from Blake Bailey’s Cheever (Knopf, $35): When William Faulkner won the Nobel prize in 1949, Cheever amused himself by imagining what Hemingway would have to say about it:
“I think it’s fine that Bill Faulkner got the Nobel Prize. … The Nobel Prize is like that purse they give in Verona for Read More
By Blake Bailey
Alfred A. Knopf, 770 pages, $35
John Cheever was inordinately fond of the word “inestimable”: It shows up twice in the brief preface to The Stories of John Cheever (1978), the best seller that pushed him at last to the top of the heap (he was now king of the short Read More
A long out-of-print short story by John Cheever that was first published in the 1943 collection The Way Some People Live will appear in serialized form next week at the Web site FiveChapters.com.
The story, which is included in a forthcoming Library of America collection, is called “Of Love: Read More
When I read a good book—any good book, but especially a biography—I can’t help but suspect that its author is a charming person: a witty raconteur with, at bottom, a good heart. I would have adored Boswell, for instance. He was a drunk and a philanderer and a sycophant, but I daresay he knew it Read More
The Best American Short Stories of the Century , selected by John Updike. Houghton Mifflin, 775 pages, $28.
Never mind that short stories have been more or less profitably published since Nathaniel Hawthorne’s day. Never mind that the O. Henry Awards, named for a master of the form, have ferreted out distinguished works and future Read More
Note Found in a Bottle: My Life as a Drinker , by Susan Cheever. Simon & Schuster, 192 pages, $23.
It’s not surprising the novelist Susan Cheever got entangled in the drinking habit very young. Her father was John Cheever, arguably the most accomplished short story writer America has produced, and certainly high on Read More
Years ago, a poet who was staying at Yaddo, the bucolic artists’ and writers’ colony in the Adirondack mountains, would sit at breakfast and recite Emily Dickinson while his fellow bohemians tucked into their eggs. These days, however, names–of big novelists, big agents, big movie producers–are more likely to be dropped around the Yaddo breakfast Read More