Cheever (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
John Cheever was one of America’s most acclaimed writers in the middle decades of the twentieth century. He wrote more than 500 short stories and published 121 of them in the country’s premier periodical for short fiction, The New Yorker, between 1935 and 1981. He was the subject of a Time magazine cover story in 1964 on the occasion of the publication of his second novel, The Wapshot Scandal, and thirteen years later appeared on the cover of Newsweek when his fourth novel, Falconer (1977), was published. His collected stories won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 1979, and several stories were made into films (such as “The Swimmer”) and teleplays (“The Housebreaker of Shady Hill”).
Cheever traveled the world as a famous American writer and was particularly revered in Soviet bloc countries. Despite his apparent successes, Cheever was tormented by private demons and filled his voluminous journals with detailed descriptions of his loneliness and self-pity. He loved the rituals of family life but showed little affection for his wife and three children. He could be a charming and witty raconteur, as well as a mean, pompous bore. A chain smoker and alcoholic for most of his adult life, he was tormented by his own bisexuality and hated homosexuals.
Blake Bailey’s Cheever: A Life, which was a finalist for the 2010...
(The entire section is 1791 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 5 (November 1, 2008): 4.
The Economist 390 (March 14, 2009): 86-87.
Harper’s Magazine 318 (April, 2009): 71-76.
Kirkus Reviews 76, no. 23 (December 1, 2008): 1232-1233.
Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2009, p. 1.
The New York Times Book Review, March 15, 2009, p. 1.
The New Yorker 85, no. 4 (March 9, 2009): 73-75.
Publishers Weekly 255, no. 47 (November 24, 2008): 45.
Time 173, no. 13 (April 6, 2009): 64.
The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2009, p. W8.
(The entire section is 50 words.)