AUTHOR: Blake Bailey
PUBLISHER: Picador USA
AWARDS: James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominee for Biography (2009), Francis Parkman Prize (2010), National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography (2009)
Cheever: A Life
by Blake Bailey
John Cheever was one of the foremost chroniclers of post-war America, a peerless writer who on his death in 1982 left not only some of the best short stories of the twentieth century and a number of highly acclaimed novels, but also a private journal that runs to an astonishing four million words. Cheever’s was a soul in conflict who hid his troubles – alcoholism, secret bisexuality – behind the screen of genial life in suburbia, but as John Updike came to remark: ‘Only he saw in its cocktail parties and swimming pools the shimmer of dissolving dreams …‘ Blake Bailey, writing with unprecedented access to the journal and other sources, has brought characteristic eloquence and sensitivity to his interpretation of Cheever’s life and work. This is a luminous biography that reveals – behind the disguises with which he faced the world – a troubled but strangely lovable man, and a writer of timeless fiction.
The subject of this biography, John Cheever, as told by his author daughter, was attracted to people of multiple genders.
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