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Cheever: A Life

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Author:
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pub. Date:
2009
Language:
English
Description
From the acclaimed author of A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, comes the unforgettable life of John Cheever (1912- 1982), a man who spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. "I was born into no true class," Cheever mused in his journal, and it was my decision, early in life, to insinuate myself into the middle class, like a spy, so that I would have an advantageous position of attack, but I seem now and then to have forgotten my mission and to have taken my disguises too seriously. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources, including Cheever's massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published, Blake Bailey's biography reveals the troubled but strangely lovable man behind the disguises, an artist who delighted in the everyday radiance of the world while yearning, above all, to be illustrious. Cheever's was a soul in conflict: he was a proud Yankee who flaunted his lineage while deploring the provincialism of his Quincy, Massachusetts, family circle; a high-school dropout who published his first story at eighteen; a pioneer of suburban realist fiction who continually pushed the boundaries of realism; a dire alcoholic who recovered to write the great novel Falconer; a secret bisexual who struggled with his longings and his fierce homophobia in a revolving door of self-loathing and hedonism. We see a man who concealed his anxieties behind the mask of a genial Westchester squire&; a paterfamilias in Brooks Brothers clothes whose world was peopled by legendary writers and beautiful women (Malcolm Cowley, Saul Bellow, William Maxwell, Hope Lange, and John Updike, among them); whose groundbreaking work landed him on the covers of Time and Newsweek; a man whose demons and desperation were never quite vanquished by the joy he found in his work. Blake Bailey has written a luminous biography, a revelation of a writer of timeless fiction and of the man behind the page.
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ISBN:
9780307271372
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDf8eed4da-435a-6a2c-f9bf-deb8971b7769
Grouping Titlecheever a life
Grouping Authorblake bailey
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-28 04:17:02AM
Last Indexed2020-09-27 05:11:55AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9781400043941

Solr Details

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display_descriptionJohn 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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title_displayCheever A Life
title_fullCheever A Life
title_shortCheever
title_subA Life
topic_facetBiography & Autobiography
Literary Criticism
Nonfiction