The Cheever chronicles

Blake Bailey, Richard Yates’ biographer, is at work on a biography of John Cheever. He plans to write the life of the Massachusetts writer as a “redemptive fable.”

The nadir of John Cheever’s life and career, according to Bailey, came in 1974 and ’75 while he was teaching at Boston University and drinking himself into a rehabilitation center. “But the last seven years of his life, Cheever never took another drink,” says Bailey. “He wrote Falconer, published his collected short stories, and won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the National Medal for Literature.”


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