Books: Inescapable Conclusions

THE STORIES OF JOHN CHEEVER by John Cheever; Knopf; 693 pages; $15.95

Although fame came to him as a novelist, John Cheever has been writing and publishing short stories for nearly 50 of his 66 years. Knowing this is one thing; finding and reading the stories has been something else again. Over the decades, magazines carrying Cheever's stories fluttered past, destined for the attic or remote stacks in public libraries. At intervals, hardbound collections of some of Cheever's short fiction appeared, sold tastefully and then went out of print. A few pieces survived the...

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