Cheever a life

by Bailey, Blake, 1963-

Format: Book on CD 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Upper St. Clair Township Library Storage AUDIO-CD 813.5209 BAI
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
 
Collection  Storage
 
Call Number  AUDIO-CD 813.5209 BAI
 
 
Summary

This luminous biography reveals, for the first time, the full and unforgettable life of a writer of timeless fiction. Drawing on unprecedented access to essential sources, Blake Bailey shows us a soul in conflict: a high-school dropout who published his first story at eighteen; a proud Yankee who flaunted his lineage while deploring the provincialism of his Quincy, Massachusetts, family circle; 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 a revolving door of self-loathing and hedonism. Concealing his anxieties behind the mask of the genial Westchester squire, Cheever earned fame and glamorous company with his groundbreaking work, yet the joy of creation could never wholly offset his desperate loneliness.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* John Cheever is not widely read anymore. In his day during the 1950s and 1960s, his short stories appeared regularly in the New Yorker, and when his first novel, the long-labored-over Wapshot Chronicle, was published in 1957, he achieved recognition as one of the foremost American fiction writers. Now his stories, upon which his reputation had been based and several of which are universally regarded as masterpieces of the form, are no longer read even in college-level literature or creative-writing courses. Perhaps a Cheever renaissance of sorts will result from this magnificently understanding and understandable biography based on copious research and destined to be the definitive life treatment for many years to come. To hold up his life as a perfect example of that of the tortured artist would not be a mistake. Seen here, Cheever had troubled relationships with his family, which haunted him forever; wrestled with his abhorred homosexual tendencies all his adult life; and developed into a desperate alcoholic. His various therapists found him to be a narcissistic personality riddled with self-doubt, and from the detailed picture composed here, the reader can only concur. Riveting from page 1, this is the literary biography of the season and will be talked about for years to come; it will also, it is hoped, guide readers once again to his distinctive fiction, especially his short stories.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Rebellious Yankee son of a father who fell victim to the Depression and a doo-gooder-turned-businesswoman mother, father to three competitive children he rode mercilessly but adored, chronicler par excellence of the 1950s American suburban scene while deploring all forms of conformity: John Cheever (1912-1982) was a mass of contradictions. In this overlong but always entertaining biography, composed with a novelist's eye, Bailey, biographer of Richard Yates and editor of two volumes of Cheever's work for Library of America (also due in March), was given access to unpublished portions of Cheever's famous journals and to family members and friends. Bailey's book is fine in descriptions of Cheever's reactions to other writers, such as his adored Bellow and detested Salinger. Bailey is also sensitive in describing the prickly dynamic of Cheever's domestic life, lived through a haze of alcoholism and under the shadow of extramarital heterosexual and homosexual relationships. This "Ovid in Ossining," who published 121 stories in the New Yorker as well as several bestselling novels, has probably yet to find a definitive position in American letters among academicians. This thoroughly researched and heartfelt biography may help redress that situation. 24 pages of photos. (Mar. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Cheever, John.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Audiobooks.
Publisher [Ashland, Or.] :Blackstone Audio,2009
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Hillgartner, Malcolm, narrator.
Participants/Performers Read by Malcolm Hillgartner.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Compact discs.
Description 22 audio discs (28 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 9781433263996 :
1433263998
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