Cheever: A Life

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9781400079681: Cheever: A Life

John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources—including Cheever’s massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published—Bailey’s Cheever is a stunning example of the biographer’s art and a brilliant tribute to an essential author.

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Review:

Amazon Best of the Month, March 2009: In Blake Bailey's monumental, masterful, and, at nearly 800 pages, mammoth biography, Cheever: A Life, the author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates turns his attention to the "the Chekhov of the suburbs" and his storied, celebrated, and deeply tortured life. Written with compassion and the full cooperation of Cheever's widow, Mary, and their three children, Cheever is rich with detail and chronicles the mournful arc of a lifetime struggling with a core duplicity that ached throughout his writing life--despite a 41-year marriage, Cheever was a closeted bisexual who simmered with self-loathing. Bailey covers the author's childhood, his time in the army, his life as a writer and his literary rivals (Salinger, in particular, seemed to irritate him), his alcoholism (he would struggle against taking that first "scoop" of gin from the pantry every morning while he was writing), and his struggle to play the role of suburban family man. The book is peppered with literary cameos: Updike, Bellow, and Roth are there, along with his Iowa Writers' Workshop students T.C. Boyle, Ron Hansen, and Allan Gurganus. (While at Iowa Cheever made it a weekly ritual to watch Monday Night Football and eat homemade pasta with fellow instructor John Irving.) Bailey also edited two Library of America editions of Cheever's stories and novels published to coincide with his biography. This literary hat trick will no doubt spark a well-deserved Cheever renaissance honoring his legacy as an American master. --Brad Thomas Parsons

About the Author:

Blake Bailey is the editor of a two-volume edition of Cheever’s work, published in 2009 by The Library of America. His last book, A Tragic Honesty, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2005, and his articles and reviews have appeared in Slate, The New York Times, the New York Observer, and elsewhere. He lives in Virginia with his wife and daughter.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources including Cheever s massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published Bailey s Cheever is a stunning example of the biographer s art and a brilliant tribute to an essential author. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781400079681

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources including Cheever s massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published Bailey s Cheever is a stunning example of the biographer s art and a brilliant tribute to an essential author. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781400079681

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