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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Appreciating John Cheever

Writer John Cheever.

Even though he has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for his short stories, John Cheever may not be at the top of your reading list — and Here and Now pop culture critic Renee Graham thinks that’s a shame.

She developed a love for his work as a college student.

Graham grew up in the inner city, in a lower middle class family and said Cheever changed her thinking.

“You tend to think that upper middle class white people have it all figured out,” she said. “Then suddenly I read Cheever and I go ‘Oh my God–they don’t have it all figured out.'”

She finds his stories beautifully written. “There’s a lot of humor, a lot of poignancy…they’re so beautifully alive,they’re going to be resonant for generations to come,” she said.

Renee Graham’s recommended Cheever reading list

  • The Country Husband
  • The Five Forty Eight
  • O Youth and Beauty
  • The Swimmer
  • The Enormous Radio


  • Renee Graham, Here and Now pop culture critic

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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