Why a Cheever reading now? Because he will have been 100 on May 27. John Cheever, the man, has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, with the release of his diaries and a highly-regarded biography by Blake Bailey. In fact, the 92nd Street Y is having an event on May 17 with Bailey, Michael Chabon, and writers and offspring Ben and Susan Cheever. So when The Center for Fiction's Executive Director, Noreen Tomassi, and I discussed having an event there, we decided to put the focus on what is probably Cheever's greatest legacy—his short stories.
|(L to R) Susan Minot, Rick Moody, and Elizabeth Strout|
Susan Minot, Rick Moody, and Elizabeth Strout each have New England roots—as did Cheever. And the work of all three has affinities with his. I'm expecting a memorable and fitting tribute to a great writer with a continuing and widespread influence on other writers—a nice way, we hope, to close out a month celebrating the story form.