John Cheever Archive

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Henry James and John Cheever

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While Cheever pays homage to James in both the themes of change and loss, as well as in the construction of his story, he uses the differences between the two stories to critique the mid-century American way of life.

An Animating Strangeness

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I can’t resist impossibilities in fiction. Of course, a story’s fabulism is no guarantee I’m going to love that story in the end—but if a first line promises me a new world, I’m going to keep reading.

Fiction Responding to Fiction: John Cheever and Raymond Carver

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In 1983, Raymond Carver included “The Train” in his collection Cathedral; he dedicated the story to John Cheever. and from the first words of the story, where one of the characters from a Cheever story is named, we see that Carver’s story will be responding to Cheever’s classic tale.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Fiction: Let’s Get Out of the Restaurant

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“I need to tell you something,” he said. He twirled his spaghetti around his fork. She sipped her wine. “What is it?” “Well.” He shoved the tangle of spaghetti in his mouth and chewed. She fiddled with her spoon. Suddenly, the waitress appeared. She had a grease stain on

The Suburbs, in Short

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In my last post I discussed the frequent dissimilarity between the actual American suburbs and their depictions in most novels we tend to think of as “suburban.” This is not to say, though, that the reality of contemporary suburban life remains unaddressed in today’s fiction. Here I’d like to

The Fictional Suburbs

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I hadn’t really thought that much about it until a friend—a non-writer friend, for what that might be worth, a musician—pointed it out. I was wrapping up my first year as a PhD student and had invited some folks over for drinks. This friend glanced down at some of

Fantasy Blog Draft – Team Introductions

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Welcome to the first ever Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft! If you missed our manifesto post, be sure to read it so you understand the rules of the “game.” Today we’ll be introducing our teams, the draft order, and the bracket for the competition. So without further ado, here are our competitors!

Arcadia

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Arcadia Lauren Groff Hyperion Voice, March 2012 304 pages $25.99 The further we proceed into this new millennium, the greater our nostalgia for the 20th century past. Each decade has its myths and tropes, cultivated in the space between what we imagine and what we desire: the swinging 60s,

Why I’m Not On Twitter Yet

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Last fall, when I sold my debut story collection to Grove/Atlantic, a smart friend whose book had just come out (and was doing extraordinarily well) wrote to encourage me to get on Twitter, stat. He said it was far and away the best place to meet book people and