John Cheever, known as the “Chekov of the suburbs” for his fiction’s signature focus on the domestic, suburban family life in the 40s and 50s, probably couldn’t hack being a single mom today. At McSweeney’s, Jeanne Darst shares the excerpts from Cheever’s fiction that pretty much hit this head on the nail....more
Posts Tagged: john cheever
Alexander Nazaryan’s Newsweek essay about John Cheever’s home (for sale, in Ossining) is more than a real estate ad; it’s a beautiful homage to the suburbanite writer. Upon touring the house with Susan, Cheever’s daughter, Nazaryan writes:
I kept asking the one question obviously worth asking—What was it like here?
With its clean, careful shots and enigmatic plot resolutions, Mad Men tends to inhabit a liminal narrative space, as if the same rules of decorum that govern its romanticized 60s society extend their authority to the show’s refined formal characteristics. This aversion to definitive conclusion is no accident: writing for Salon, Rebecca Makkai examines how the series recalls John Cheever’s iconic short fiction, which creator Matthew Weiner has listed as an influence:
I imagined all his stories to involve a businessman who got off the evening train drunk, stood in his yard peering in through the windows of his own house, and had some sort of sad revelation…[but instead,] in each story, a small world of alienation and humor and despair, a meditation on family or work, the city or the suburbs, travel or stasis, success or failure.
No, really, here’s a fun little quiz from Bookish on trivia about classic short stories.
How much do you remember about the tiny details from classic short stories like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” or John Cheever’s “The Swimmer”?...more
Department of Eagles’ Fred Nicolaus is obsessed with John Cheever. “I read John Cheever’s collected short stories when I was twenty, and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since,” he states. So obsessed that his brand new solo project, Golden Suits, takes its name from a Cheever reference, and this brand new video was an experiment inspired by Cheever’s story “The Swimmer.”...more
A descendant of Cheever, Stuart Nadler traces evolving relationships with delicate, precise prose in his debut short story collection, The Book of Life....more
There are few things more riveting than watching people gossip in a language you don’t understand....more
I should say at the outset that while Bullet Park is a good book, and in my opinion a great book, it is not a sound book.
Cheever is rightly (though myopically) criticized for never having really solved the novel, and most of the five he wrote, including both Bullet Park and even the one generally considered his best, Falconer, show his struggle plainly: He was a peerless short story writer, and when he takes on the novel it’s a bit like a baseball player who never really learned how to swing a golf club....more
It’s fall! The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, and I can’t seem to leave my house....more
This has been a week of exhuming dead writers. First the hallelujahs for the news of David Foster Wallace’s forthcoming unfinished novel, now a newly unburied video of Cheever and Updike being interviewed by Dick Cavett in 1981. Deliciously, the thirty-minute interview is posted in its entirety....more