John William Cheever 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
John William Cheever was the second child of Frederick Lincoln Cheever and Mary Liley Cheever. His father was a prosperous shoe salesman and Cheever spent much of his childhood in a large Victorian house, at 123 Winthrop Avenue, in the then-genteel suburb of Wollaston, Massachusetts. In the mid-1920s, however, as the New England shoe and textile industries began their long decline, Frederick Cheever lost most of his money and began to drink heavily. To pay the bills, Mary Cheever opened a gift shop in downtown Quincy—an "abysmal humiliation" for the family, as John saw it. In 1926, Cheever began attending Thayer Academy, a private day school, but he found the atmosphere stifling and performed poorly, finally transferring to Quincy High in 1928.
In March 1977, Cheever appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine with the caption, "A Great American Novel: John Cheever's Falconer." The novel was Number One on the New York Times Best Seller list for three weeks. The Stories of John Cheever appeared in October, 1978, and became one of the most successful collections ever, selling 125,000 copies in hardback and winning universal acclaim.
He died on June 18, 1982. The flags in Ossining were lowered to half staff for 10 days after Cheever's death.
Two of Cheever's three children, Susan and Benjamin, became writers.
Father: Frederick Lincoln Cheever b: 16 JAN 1865 in Lynn, Essex Co., MA Mother: Mary Devereux Liley b: 1873 in Brightside, Yorkshire, England
Marriage 1 Mary Watson Winternitz b: 4 MAY 1918 in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT Married: 22 MAR 1941 in New Haven, New Haven Co., CT
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