Tuesday, October 19, 2004

John Cheever

John Cheever was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on May 27, 1912. His father was a shoes salesman, who lost his job and found it hard to find another. His mother, in order to make ends meet, opened up a gift shop where she ended up selling many of the family possesions, including John's bed. John resented his mother's shop because he believed it advertised the family's income decline. Josh started his schooling at Thyarlands, which is a junior school, where he did well. Cheever did well enought that he moved on to Thayer Academy. However, the results at the academy were not so well. He eventually ended up getting explained for bad grades, but turned the reasoning around and he said that he got kicked out for being caught in the act of smoking. He ended up turning his expellsion incident into a short story where the publisher for The New Republican got a hold of and Cheever had a published story in a major magazine and didn't even graduate high school.
Cheever's parents still were struggling to make money and he parents ended up splitting up eventually and John lived with this brother, Frederick, in Boston. Once Cheever was 20, he decided to venture out on his own and move to New York City. He supported himself through writing jobs, including writing synopses for MGM studios.
Cheever married May Winternitz who was the granddaughter of Alexander GrandBell's assistant, who received the first ever phone call. She too was a writer, but her focus was on poetry. They couple had three children together and moved to West Chester. In West Chester he dubbed the area, "Cheever County" which is where, "The Five-Forty-Eight", one of his most famous works, comes from.
Cheever went on to publish many more novels, but struggled greatly with his health. He died in his home in Ossinig at the age of 70 from kindey and bone cancer.


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