John Cheever 1912 -1982
American short story writer and novelist. See also, "The Swimmer" Criticism.
Cheever is regarded as one of the most important twentieth-century American writers of short fiction. He has been dubbed “the Ovid of Ossining,” “the Dante of suburbia,” and “the Chekhov of the exurbs” for his ability to chronicle with grandeur and pathos the lives of upper middle-class Americans. Many of Cheever's works revolve around the cocktail parties, swimming pools, barbecues, and commuter trains that are hallmarks of suburbia. Although critics note that many writers do not find the seemingly bland uniformity of the exurbs a fertile ground for interesting fiction, Cheever has the ability to expose the turmoil and complexity that lies below the surface of this seemingly tranquil terrain. Cheever gained popularity and notoriety as a social commentator for his early stories “The Swimmer,” “The Enormous Radio,” and “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill,” but only began to receive serious scholarly attention after the republication of sixty-one of his best stories in the 1978 collection, The Stories of John Cheever. Cheever is praised by critics for his ability to treat his characters with compassion and wit while maintaining the absurdity of their surroundings and the futility of their actions; his stories hold out the hope of their redemption in love.
Cheever was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on May 27, 1912. His writing is rich with his New England heritage—from the physical settings to the manners, mores, and morality that pervade his stories. Cheever attended Quincy High School and Thayer Academy, a preparatory school in South Braintree, Massachusetts, but his formal education ceased in 1929 when he was expelled at age seventeen for smoking. Cheever used his experience at Thayer as the subject matter for his first short story, “Expelled,” which launched his literary career when it was published in the New Republic in 1930. After his expulsion, Cheever moved to Boston and then to New York, where he supported himself by working in department stores and on newspapers. Throughout the 1930s Cheever published stories in various magazines including Atlantic, Colliers, Story, and the Yale Review. In 1935 Cheever published “Brooklyn Rooming House,” the first of his stories to appear in the New Yorker. Cheever's affiliation with the that publication would span the length of his literary career, and one hundred and twenty-one of his nearly two hundred short stories were originally published in issues of the New Yorker. Although Cheever's association with the magazine gave him much exposure, early critics tended to dismiss his work on the basis that it was slick, stereotypical, and formulaic work typical of the New Yorker. Cheever's first volume of stories, The Way Some People Live, was published in 1943 while he was serving in the U. S. Army. The collection was composed of thirty pieces, many of them little more than fragments, and received mostly tepid reviews. Cheever's second collection, The Enormous Radio and Other Stories, published in 1953, contained fourteen longer and more fully developed works than his first collection. Still tainted by his association with the New Yorker, the second collection was still met with mixed success.
Cheever was determined to complete a novel in the following years. In 1957 he succeeded with the publication of The Wapshot Chronicle. This was followed in 1958 by The Housebreaker of Shady Hill, a collection that included the stories “The Five-Forty-Eight,” which had won the Benjamin Franklin Magazine award, and “The Country Husband,” which had won the O. Henry Award. Cheever's fourth collection of stories, Some People, Places, and Things That Will Not Appear in My Next Novel, was published in 1961. Three years later Cheever published a second novel, The Wapshot Scandal, a sequel to The Wapshot Chronicle. Cheever's fifth collection of stories, The Brigadier and the Golf Widow, also appeared in 1964, and contains his most celebrated short story, “The Swimmer.” Cheever published his third novel, Bullet Park, in 1969. The novel received mixed reviews due to its dark themes. In the years that followed Cheever suffered from alcoholism, and alcohol-related health problems, marital troubles, and depression. In spite of his personal turmoil, his next collection of stories, A World of Apples, brought positive critical reception and a nomination for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1975, at the urging of his wife and family, Cheever admitted himself to Smithers Alcohol Rehabilitation Center and successfully stopped drinking. In 1977 he published Falconer, a novel about the alienation and despair in the confinement of prison. In 1978 The Stories of John Cheever was published and met with great critical and popular success; the same year Cheever was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard. In 1979 Stories earned Cheever the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Edward McDowell Medal. Cheever's last work, the novella Oh What a Paradise it Seems, was intended as a much longer work, but after Cheever was diagnosed with cancer he was unable to fulfill his original plan for the book. Cheever was awarded the National Medal for Literature in April 1982, and died of cancer on June 18 of that year.
Major Works of Short Fiction
Cheever is most noted for his stories in which he portrays characters in conflict with both their external world and their internal self. His stories are often remarkably similar in their settings and often deal with a similar type of character. Cheever's heroes are typically suburban upper middle-class males and females who, despite their seemingly tranquil lives, are spiritually and emotionally troubled and who exhibit a tension between their remembered or longed-for innocence and the reality of the lives they lead. This tension results in discontent that is manifested in a variety of ways, including sexual perversion, marital strife, drinking, and financial overindulgence. Cheever's characters are portrayed as having lost their innocent youth and are plunged into the chaos of adult life with all of its false comforts. Despite their discontent and selfish, destructive ways, Cheever treats his characters with compassion and understanding; he makes us feel that although we may find his characters humorous or pathetic, we must have sympathy for their need to find order and comfort in the chaotic and changing world.
Cheever's short stories are often divided by critics into four main categories according to their locale. The Urban or New York stories, which include “Torch Song,” “Clancy in the Tower of Babel,” and “The Enormous Radio,” are characterized by their themes of displacement, imprisonment, and divorce. While the stories are set in New York, their main characters are often not native to the city. In the Exurban or Vacation stories, for example “The Seaside House,” “Goodbye, My Brother,” and “The Common Day,” Cheever depicts his characters trying to escape their imprisonment or begin anew, but they find they are unable to escape their own moral and spiritual problems. The Expatriate stories, including “The Bella Lingua,” “The Duchess,” and “The World of Apples,” are set mostly in Italy and center on the outsider's perspective. The Suburban stories are the largest category of Cheever's stories and include “The Swimmer,” “The Country Husband,” and “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill.” These stories are said to explore the “separateness” of the characters' existences. As their lives are divided between their city work and suburban homes, so are they split between their normal outer appearances and their chaotic inner experiences. Critics often note that Cheever's talent lies in being able to blend the commonplace with the mythic. Cheever's most famous story, “The Swimmer,” has been compared with such works as Dante's Inferno, Rip Van Winkle, and the Holy Grail legends. It is Cheever's ability to make the ordinary lives of his suburbanites seem fantastical, spiritual, and universal that warrants these comparisons.
Although Cheever published his short fiction in magazines and in collections steadily from the 1940s, it was not until the late 1970s that he began to receive serious scholarly attention. His early works met with popular approval, but critics were wary of honoring any literature that was published in the New Yorker, as the magazine was perceived by the literary elite as only producing safe and predictable works. Most early reviewers praised Cheever's lyrical prose and his realistic characters, but were critical of the pessimism and irresolution that they considered were prevalent in his fiction. Some early critics, including Joan Didion, deemed Cheever's stories “a celebration of life,” and were able to see that Cheever's works were really optimistic in nature. However, despite some early recognition of his talent, Cheever's association with the New Yorker hindered his critical success for many years. After the publication of his novel, Falconer, in 1977, and the republication of his best short fiction in The Stories of John Cheever in 1978, serious academic criticism began to appear. Critics reexamined Cheever's work and found it to be optimistic and idealistic even though he often portrays characters suffering from pathos and despair; many reviewers pointed out the strong themes of hope and morality often symbolized by his use of light and water imagery. Rather than viewing Cheever's use of upper-class America as relating experiences that are too narrow in scope, most commentators now recognize the all-embracing human themes explored in the confined world he describes. Cheever's explains his use of suburbia as the setting for his stories in the following manner: “I am not out to be a social critic … nor a defender of suburbia. It goes without saying that the people in my stories and the things that happen to them could take place anywhere.” As the novelist Saul Bellow noted, it is Cheever's ability to “take the elements given and work them into something new and far deeper than they were at the outset” that gives Cheever's stories their universal resonance.
Cheever is now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the twentieth century. Critics maintain that in The Stories of John Cheever readers can see the Cheever's mastery of the short story genre and his ability to show compassion and understanding for human emotion when confronted with moral dilemma in the chaos of modern life. Cheever wrote, “Literature is the only continuous and coherent account of our struggle to be illustrious, a monument of aspiration, a vast pilgrimage.” Through his short stories Cheever has provided such an account, and in doing so has secured his distinguished place in American letters.
The Way Some People Live 1943
The Enormous Radio, and Other Stories 1953
The Housebreaker of Shady Hill, and Other Stories 1958
Some People, Places, and Things That Will Not Appear in My Next Novel 1961
The Brigadier and the Golf Widow 1964
The World of Apples 1973
The Stories of John Cheever 1978
Oh What a Paradise It Seems 1982
Thirteen Uncollected Stories of John Cheever 1994
The Wapshot Chronicle (novel) 1957
The Wapshot Scandal (novel) 1964
Bullet Park (novel) 1969
Falconer (novel) 1977
The Letters of John Cheever 1988
The Journals of John Cheever 1991
Good Tidings: A Friendship in Letters: The Correspondence of John Cheever and John D. Weaver 1993
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SOURCE: “New Fiction from Atlantic to Pacific,” in The Critical Response to John Cheever, edited by Francis J. Bosha, Greenwood Press, 1994, pp. 5-6.
[In the following essay, originally published in the New York Herald in 1943, Feld asserts that, although most of the stories in The Way Some People Liveare mere moments or fragments of stories, Cheever succeeds in portraying his characters with sympathy and irony.]
To the extent that in the writing world any material—sketch, article, newspaper report, fiction—is called a story, John Cheever's book, “The Way Some People Live,” may be called a collection of stories. But in the conventional sense, only a few of the thirty pieces that make up the volume fulfill the ordinary requirements of the short-fiction form. The rest are moments or moods caught in the lives of his characters, pointed in quality but inconclusive in effect. They give the feeling, very often, of being notes made on a contemplated larger work which has remained unfinished. While they are interesting as fragments and show a subtle and sensitive talent at irony and satire, they leave the reader suspended in anticipation that has no artistic fulfillment.
That Mr. Cheever can bring a story to a satisfying conclusion, however unconventional his pattern, is evidenced by some of the pieces in the book. His story called “The Cat” succeeds notably in...
(The entire section is 639 words.)
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SOURCE: “Change is Always for the Worse,” in The Critical Response to John Cheever, edited by Francis J. Bosha, Greenwood Press, 1994, pp. 83-4.
[In the following essay, originally published in Commonweal in 1964, Segal traces the themes of the progression of magic and the transitory nature of material possessions in Cheever's collection of stories, The Brigadier and the Golf Widow.]
When I was a boy I read a story that terrified me. It was about a child who declared that he needed the help of no living creature. That night the sheep came and took from him everything woolen, the tree came and took everything wooden, and so on until he was naked and cold under the sky. I remembered this fairy tale while reading The Brigadier and the Golf Widow, a collection of the short stories John Cheever has written over the last ten years. My children's story contains both Cheever's most successful technique and his obsessive theme. The technique is the use of magic progressing logically; the theme is the chanciness of possessions.
If Louis Auchincloss writes the best fiction about the rich these days, Cheever writes the best fiction about people living like the rich. Auchincloss' characters are at home with what they own, and are free to worry about moral questions; Cheever's live in constant terror that the paraphernalia of their lives will suddenly vanish. And they are right....
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SOURCE: “Literate, Witty, Civilized,” in Critical Essays on John Cheever, edited by R. G. Collins, G. K. Hall & Company, 1982, pp. 28-32.
[In the following essay, originally published in the New Republic in 1982, Wain applauds Cheever's The World of Apples for being witty and intelligent while depicting characters that behave decently as people “generally do in real life.”]
I don't know what goes on in the minds of very young people, but to most of us grown-ups there comes a sense, very often, of having started our lives amid the outlines of a civilization and having watched them melt away, leaving a featureless desert; quite a suitable environment for prayer and meditation, and also for nameless crimes, but very unfavorable for the practice of ordinary virtues such as tolerance or unselfishness. Goodness knows, the crumbling away of values has been going on for 200 years, but anyone born, as I was, in the 1920s did at least grow up with the feeling that, though metaphysical guidelines had vanished, social ones remained; even though we didn't “believe in God,” we accepted a system of values derived from Christianity and our emotions attached to these, so that we recognized love, courage, self-sacrifice, generosity, as virtues and cruelty and meanness as vices. This gave a meaningful basis for action; World War II, for instance, was fought not just from nationalistic...
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SOURCE: “The Hero on the 5:42: John Cheever's Short Fiction,” in Western Humanities Review, Vol. XXX, No. 2, Spring, 1976, pp. 147-52.
[In the following essay, Moore argues that although Cheever's characters sometimes act in ways that seem futile and absurd, the fact that they create their own “legends” in a world that seems pointless makes them heroes.]
Just about ten years ago John Aldridge wrote in Time to Murder and Create that Cheever was “one of the most grievously underdiscussed important writers we have at the present time.” He had been cursed with a “kind of good housekeeping seal of middlebrow literary approval”; he was said to be “a paid moralist of the button-down-collar Establishment.” Of course, as Aldridge added, “Cheever has … all along been unfortunate in the company his work has kept.” By that he meant The New Yorker, a Time magazine cover story, the National Book Award; Cheever was recognized as a writer of middlebrow-popular sensibilities. He spoke to, and continues to speak to, an audience that is indeed instructed by New Yorker fiction.
But Cheever has used the seeming conventions of New Yorker fiction to create a form of short fiction that transcends the conventions without quite violating them. His best stories move from a base in a mimetic presentation of surface reality—the scenery of...
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SOURCE: “Cheever's Stories: Style and Substance,” in Commonweal, Vol. CVI, No. 1, January 19, 1979, pp. 20-22.
[In the following essay, Hunt argues that Cheever's stories provide more than social commentary; they are lyrical and funny without being merely satiric.]
John Cheever has won many awards for his fiction, but the praise and prizes have been reserved for his four excellent novels, The Wapshot Chronicle, The Wapshot Scandal, Bullet Park, and Falconer. Short stories, by contrast, rarely win important prizes, and collections of stories do not sell well. Cheever persists nonetheless in this neglected genre, which he terms “the literature of the nomad.” The Stories of John Cheever (Knopf, 695 pp., $15), a handsomely designed and printed edition of 61 stories, represents his greatest achievement.
For too long critics have been idly content with the clichés “Cheever country” and “Cheeveresque,” a reviewer's shorthand betraying a sensibility less wide and deep than the author's own. Cheever country has become synonymous with the suburbs that abut Route 95 from New York to Boston, a homogenized landscape of semi-elegant cook-outs, drained pools in the winter, parties that begin “Oh, do come” and end with forlorn or frantic goodbyes, a place peopled by an upper crust, now moldy or pulpy with desperation, fits of sexual...
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SOURCE: “The Passion of Nostalgia in the Short Stories of John Cheever,” in Critical Essays on John Cheever, edited by R. G. Collins, G. K. Hall & Company, 1982, pp. 219-30.
[In the following essay, Kendle maintains that Cheever's stories are unified by a “passionate attempt to retain and foster an image” of an Eden-like past manifested in places, patterns of behavior, or inner innocence.]
“it is a passion of nostalgia”
Henry James, letter to William Dean Howells, 1904
The passionate attempt to retain and foster an image of an innocent past unifies the rich and varied fictional world in the stories of John Cheever.1 His characters obsessively pursue this image of lost innocence, often their own, sometimes simultaneously registering the painful reality that motivates this nostalgia. Different characters may view the world through contrasting perspectives; the dual vision may exist within a single character; the tone of a story may imply an image of reality that clashes with that of the main character or narrator. Whatever the terms of this split, the dual vision defines the distance between aspiration and actuality for Cheever's protagonists.
“O Youth and Beauty!” contrasts the perspectives of travellers, who see the suburb of Shady Hill “in a bath of golden light” (p. 215), and of the protagonist, who has a more sober...
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SOURCE: “John Cheever: The ‘Swimming’ of America,” in Critical Essays on John Cheever, edited by R. G. Collins, G. K. Hall & Company, 1982, pp. 180-91.
[In the following essay, Slabey compares “The Swimmer” with “Rip Van Winkle,” exploring the contrast between the dreams we live by and the reality we live.]
… the story of Rip Van Winkle has never been finished, and still awaits a final imaginative recreation.
Indeed, the central fact about America in 1970 is the discrepancy between the realities of our society and our beliefs about them. The gap is even greater in terms of our failure to understand the possibilities and potential of American life.
—Charles A. Reich
More than a century after Washington Irving described the Catskills as “fairy mountains” with “magical hues” produced by seasonal and diurnal atmospheric changes, John Cheever has taken that enchanted vicinity as the setting for some of his best fiction. In this continuation of Hudson River mythology, Cheever's territory, like Irving's, is somewhere between fact and fantasy, the mundane and the marvelous, “modern” life and ancient legend. And while both writers mix comedy and sadness, Irving's vision gravitates towards...
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SOURCE: “A Key Pattern of Images in John Cheever's Short Fiction,” in Studies in Short Fiction,Vol. 26, No. 4, Fall, 1989, pp. 463-72.
[In the following excerpt, Fogelman examines the motifs of immersion in water, the breaking of a storm, and the journey through darkness into light in “Summer Theatre,” “The Swimmer,” and “The World of Apples.”]
“My work or a great deal of my work … is quite apparently of subterranean water, with wells, with streams, with a search for water, and with a sound of rain,” Cheever remarked to an interviewer in 1978, following the publication of The Stories of John Cheever. “I like to think it's in such humble matters, humble and profound matters as that, that we're sympathetic.”1 Indeed, the transforming and liberating potential of water is a central force in Cheever's stories, particularly in some of his best-known later works such as “The Swimmer” and “The World of Apples.”2 In these and some other stories, an immersion in water is combined with a summer storm and a journey through darkness toward vision to form a structural pattern whose significance, as Cheever himself suggests, lies in the way it is used to project a sympathetic vision of humanity, of its propensity for self-confinement and of its potential for freedom.
This pattern and its import are already much in evidence in...
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SOURCE: “‘The Country Husband’—A Model Cheever Achievement,” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 27, No. 4, Fall, 1990, pp. 577-85.
[In the following essay, Hipkiss examines the number of ways in which “The Country Husband” exposes upper middle-class angst and argues that the story is Cheever's most intense and best work of art.]
“The Country Husband,” John Cheever's 1950s story of the well-to-do suburb of Shady Hill, is a minor masterpiece of contemporary fiction.1 Consider how much of the upper-middle-class suburban angst it includes: the tension between the individual's emotional needs for personal, individualized recognition and the responsibilities he must exercise toward others; the brittle order of man-made conventions, undermined by the instinctive, chaotic selfishness of animal biology; the would-be hero's visions of an Elysian future fractured by the triphammer echoes of history; and, through it all, the terrible failure of human communication, with the resultant condemnation to loneliness and imprisoned desire of the imaginative suburbanite in an unimaginative land.
Cheever's studies of life at the apex of American middle-class culture are stories that depend less on plot than on images,2 and it is the mixture of the types of images that creates the richness of emotional awareness for the reader as he comes to know Francis Weed's...
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SOURCE: “Cheever's Dark Knight of the Soul: The Failed Quest of Neddy Merrill,” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer, 1992, pp. 347-52.
[In the following essay, Blythe and Sweet explore Cheever's use of Grail mythology in the characters, events, and settings of “The Swimmer,” and contrast Neddy Merrill, the selfish hero, with the traditional selfless Grail hero.]
Although critics, including ourselves, have noted many minor patterns throughout “The Swimmer” such as the color imagery (Graves 4-5), the Shakespearian parallels (Bell 433-36), the names (Byrne 326-27), an historical allusion (Blythe and Sweet 557-59), and the autumnal images (Reilly 12), all have overlooked the major pattern that dominates and hence illuminates Cheever's story. In 1967 Cortland Auser suggested that Cheever “created an imaginative and vital myth of time and modern man” that “uses the age-old themes of quest, journey, initiation, and discovery” (18). Auser, however, failed to note the specific myth that undergirds the story as well as the ramifications of Cheever's choice of that myth. A close examination of the characters, events, and settings of “The Swimmer” reveals that Cheever has patterned Neddy Merrill's journey on the familiar archetype of the Grail quest. In fact, Cheever includes so much Grail paraphernalia that he forces his audience to consider the contrast between Neddy Merrill...
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SOURCE: “Damned in a Fair Life: Cheever's ‘The Swimmer,’” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1993, pp. 367-75.
[In the following essay, Kozikowski argues that “The Swimmer” is a spiritual allegory owing much to Dante's Inferno in its subject and structure.]
Cheever's ever-popular, many-faceted short story, “The Swimmer,” accommodates various readings, particular and universal. Within its range of appeal, for instance, it has been read as suggestive autobiography,1 contemporary American Odyssey (Hunt 280-83), dazzling literary structure (Kruse 221), as a “midsummer's nightmare” (Bell 433), sacramental parody (Blythe and Sweet 393), realism yielding to fantasy (Blythe and Sweet 415) and Neddy Merrill dead in Hades (Cervo 49-50). I propose that the story, along with its literal and figural resonances, has the suggestive depth of a spiritual allegory in the fashion of Dante, whom Cheever admired, and whose influence he acknowledged affectionately.2 As a terse and grim Commedia, “The Swimmer” evinces a pattern of meaning that enlarges the story's autobiographical and epic mythoi to include an account of how Neddy Merrill's sad swim in his superbly affluent neighborhood reveals itself as an uneasy pilgrimage in hell, owing much in subject and structure to Dante's Inferno, which Cheever early in his career began reading quite...
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SOURCE: “Gender and Structure in John Cheever's ‘The Country Husband,’” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1994, pp. 57-68.
[In the following essay, Dressner presents a deconstructive reading of “The Country Husband” concentrating on the comic structure, the contrast between the domestic and the wild, and the female versus the male role.]
“He struck her full in the face. She staggered …” (Cheever, “The Country Husband” 340)
“A deconstructive reading is an attempt to show how the conspicuously foregrounded statements in a text are systematically related to discordant signifying elements that the text has thrown into its shadows or margins. …” (Johnson 17-18)
On more than one occasion, John Cheever described his short story “The Country Husband” (1954) with uncharacteristic satisfaction. In a 1973 interview, he spoke of the “seizure of lunacy when everything comes together. That is, of course, the most exciting thing about writing. I totally despair [and then] observations, emotions, and so forth all of a sudden calcify.” A moment later Cheever called to mind an instance of this apogee of his experience of his art:
There is a short story of mine called “The Country Husband,” which closes with something like...
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SOURCE: “Cheever's Shady Hill: A Suburban Sequence,’” in Modern American Short Story Sequences: Composite Fictions and Fictive Communities, edited by J. Gerald Kennedy, Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 133-50.
[In the following essay, Donaldson examines how Cheever exploits the contrast between the turmoil of his characters' inner lives and the seeming tranquility of their outer lives in The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and Other Stories.]
Over the course of the previous half century, Vladimir Nabokov observed in November 1971, “the greatest Short Stories have been produced not in England, not in Russia, and certainly not in France, but in [the United States].” As examples, Nabokov went on to cite half a dozen personal favorites, with John Cheever's “The Country Husband” (1954) leading the list.1 Two years later, John Leonard declared his belief that “Cheever is our best living writer of short stories,” adding that this view was not commonly shared.2 With the publication of The Stories of John Cheever in 1978, however, everyone sailed their hats in the air. What the critics neglected to discover earlier, reading Cheever's stories singly in the New Yorker or in his smaller collections, suddenly became clear in the wake of this whopping assemblage of sixty-one stories. In fact, Cheever now deserved recognition, according to Stephen Becker, as “one...
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Cheever, Susan. Home Before Dark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984. 243 p.
Honest and frank biography by Cheever's daughter, containing family history, excerpts from her father's journals, and photographs.
Donaldson, Scott. John Cheever: A Biography. New York: Random House, 1988. 416 p.
The definitive biography of Cheever, focusing on the relationship between Cheever's work and his life.
Allen, William Rodney. “Allusions to The Great Gatsby in John Cheever's ‘The Swimmer.’” Studies in Short Fiction 26, No. 3 (Summer 1989): 289-93.
Discusses parallels between Neddy Merrill and Jay Gatsby as two characters who see the myth they have made of themselves destroyed by culture, mistakes, and the passage of time.
Collins, Robert G. “Fugitive Time: Dissolving Experience in the Later Fiction of John Cheever,” in Studies in American Fiction 12 (1984): 175-88.
Article assessing the pressure of time on defining experiences in Cheever's later work.
Collins, R. G., editor. Critical Essays on John Cheever. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982. 292 p.
Collection of criticism on Cheever including fifteen reprinted reviews, several interviews, and seventeen of what are...
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