Cover image for John Cheever : a study of the short fiction
John Cheever : a study of the short fiction
O'Hara, James Eugene.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Twayne Publishers, [1989]

Physical Description:
xiv, 163 pages ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3505.H6428 Z8 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



O'Hara challenges the critical view that Cheever is a predictably optimistic writer restricted to tales of modern suburbia. He opens with an analysis of works published before 1945, and examines the evolution of Cheever's themes, styles and narrative devices through to 1981, and provides a compilation of critical essays on Cheever's work by Alfred Kazin, George Hunt and others.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In the only study devoted exclusively to Cheever's short stories, O'Hara traces the development of Cheever's short fiction over a period of 51 years during which he published 170 short stories. O'Hara believes that Cheever's short stories are better than his novels, which "only served to detract from his true vocation as a short story writer." Although Donaldson's biography, John Cheever (1988), reads Cheever's fiction autobiographically, O'Hara properly focuses on the stories as art, which at worst are often overly optimistic but at best plumbed the depths of common human experience. Far better than S. Coale's John Cheever (CH, May'78), more concerned with theme than L. Waldeland's John Cheever (CH, Feb'80), and a good supplement to G.W. Hunt's John Cheever: The Hobgoblin Company of Love (CH, Feb'84). O'Hara's short but perceptive examination of Cheever's short stories is a helpful introduction to the short fiction of an important writer. The inclusion of some of Cheever's letters and interviews and of a few critical essays on Cheever supplements O'Hara's assessment of Cheever. Selected bibliography. Recommended at all levels, but especially for undergraduate libraries. -E. Suderman, Gustavus Adolphus College