John Cheever


John Cheever
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John William Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born, and Italy, especially Rome. He is "now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the 20th century." While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," ... more »

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  • ''Wisdom we know is the knowledge of good and evil not the strength to choose between the two.''
    John Cheever (1912-1982), U.S. author. Journal entry, 1956. John Cheever: The Journals, "The Late Forties and the Fifties," ed. Robert Gottlieb (1991)...
  • ''I do not understand the capricious lewdness of the sleeping mind.''
    John Cheever (1912-1982), U.S. author. "The Late Forties and the Fifties," John Cheever: The Journals, ed. Robert Gottlieb (1991). 1955 entry.
  • ''When the beginnings of self-destruction enter the heart it seems no bigger than a grain of sand.''
    John Cheever (1912-1982), U.S. author. "The Late Forties and the Fifties," 1952 entry, John Cheever: The Journals, ed. Robert Gottlieb (1991).
  • ''My veins are filled, once a week with a Neapolitan carpet cleaner distilled from the Adriatic and I am as bald as an egg. However I still get around and am mean to cats.''
    John Cheever (1912-1982), U.S. author. Letter, May 10, 1982, to Philip Roth. The Letters of John Cheever (1989). Concerning his cancer and its tre...
  • At my back I hear the word—"homosexual"—and it seems to split my world in two.... It is ignorance, our ignorance of one another, that creates this terrifying erotic chaos. Information, a cru...
    John Cheever (1912-1982), U.S. author. "The Sixties," entry in 1966, John Cheever: The Journals, ed. Robert Gottlieb (1991).
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