John Cheever

John Cheever, 1912–82, American author, b. Quincy, Mass. His expulsion from Thayer Academy was the subject of his first short story, published by the New Republic when he was 17. Many of his subsequent works are also semiautobiographical. With meticulously rendered detail, Cheever often wrote about life in the affluent American suburbs. Although his works are usually comic, his view is that of a moralist. His fiction includes the novels The Wapshot Chronicle (1957), The Wapshot Scandal (1964), and Falconer (1977); and several short-story collections. Comprehansive collections of Cheever's masterful short stories, which acutely chronicle his generation's urban and suburban life, were published in 1978 (Pulitzer Prize) and 2009; his novels were collected in 2009. His daughter, Susan Cheever, 1943–, and his son, Benjamin Cheever, 1948–, are also writers.

See his journals (1991, rev. ed. 1994, repr. 2008), ed. by S. Cheever (and R. Gottlieb); his letters, ed. by B. Cheever (1988); S. Cheever, Home before Dark (1984); S. Donaldson, ed., Conversations with John Cheever (1987); biographies by S. Donaldson (1988) and B. Bailey (2009); studies by L. Waldeland (1979), R. G. Collins, ed. (1982), G. W. Hunt (1983), J. E. O'Hara (1989), F. J. Bosha, ed. (1994), P. Meanor (1995), and H. Bloom, ed. (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story
Blanche H. Gelfant; Lawrence Graver.
Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "John Cheever (1912-1982)" begins on p. 199
Equivocal Spirits: Alcoholism and Drinking in Twentieth-Century Literature
Thomas B. Gilmore.
University of North Carolina Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Four "Drinking and Society in the Fiction of John Cheever"
Damned in a Fair Life: Cheever's "The Swimmer." (John Cheever)
Kozikowski, Stanley J.
Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 30, No. 3, Summer 1993
Gender and Structure in John Cheever's "The Country Husband."
Dessner, Lawrence Jay.
Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 1, Winter 1994
John Cheever's Shady Hill, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Suburbs
Wilhite, Keith.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 34, No. 2, Autumn 2006
Burglary in Shady Hill and Sarsaparilla: The Politics of Conformity in White and Cheever
Andersson, Lars.
Australian Literary Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4, October 2006
Toward the End: Closure and Structure in the American Short Story
John Gerlach.
University of Alabama Press, 1985
Librarian’s tip: "The Tale in Modern Perspective: Cheever, 'Artemis, the Honest Well Digger'" begins on p. 152
Love on the Rocks: Men, Women, and Alcohol in Post-World War II America
Lori Rotskoff.
University of North Carolina Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of John Cheever begins on p. 217
Embracing a Gay Identity: Gay Novels as Guides
Wilfrid R. Koponen.
Bergin & Garvey, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of John Cheever begins on p. 30
Gay Histories and Cultures
George E. Haggerty; John Beynon; Douglas Eisner.
Garland, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Cheever, John (1912-1982)" begins on p. 180
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