John William Cheever

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John William Cheever

Birthplace: Quincy, MA, USA
Death: Died in Ossining, NY, USA
Place of Burial: First Parish Cemetery, Norwell, Plymouth, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederick Lincoln Cheever and Mary Devereux Cheever
Husband of <private> Cheever (Winternitz)
Father of <private> Cheever; <private> Cheever and <private> Cheever
Brother of Frederick Lincoln Cheever

Occupation: Author, recipient of many literary awards
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John William Cheever

John Cheever was a noted American author.


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."[2] While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer"), he also wrote a number of novels, such as The Wapshot Chronicle (National Book Award, 1958), The Wapshot Scandal (William Dean Howells Medal, 1965), Bullet Park (1969), and Falconer (1977).

His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit. Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.

A compilation of his short stories, The Stories of John Cheever, won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. On April 27, 1982, six weeks before his death, Cheever was awarded the National Medal for Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been included in the Library of America.

Bibliography (From: )

   The Way Some People Live (stories, 1943)
   The Enormous Radio and Other Stories (stories, 1953)
   Stories (with Jean Stafford, Daniel Fuchs, and William Maxwell) (stories, 1956)
   The Wapshot Chronicle (novel, 1957)
   The Housebreaker of Shady Hill and Other Stories (stories, 1958)
   Some People, Places and Things That Will Not Appear In My Next Novel (stories, 1961)
   The Wapshot Scandal (novel, 1964)
   The Brigadier and the Golf Widow (stories, 1964)
   Bullet Park (novel, 1969)
   The World of Apples (stories, 1973)
   Falconer (novel, 1977)
   The Stories of John Cheever (stories, 1978)
   Oh What a Paradise It Seems (novella, 1982)
   The Letters of John Cheever, edited by Benjamin Cheever (1988)
   The Journals of John Cheever (1991)
   Collected Stories & Other Writings (Library of America) (stories, 2009)
   Complete Novels (Library of America) (novels, 2009)
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John William Cheever's Timeline

May 27, 1912
Quincy, MA, USA
March 22, 1941
Age 28
New Haven, CT, USA
June 18, 1982
Age 70
Ossining, NY, USA
June 22, 1982
Age 70
Norwell, Plymouth, MA, USA