Books: A Celebrant of Sunlight

John Cheever: 1912-1982

He died, after a long bout with cancer, just three days before the summer solstice and the principal season of his imagination. Author John Cheever, 70, was a celebrant of sunlight, of manicured suburban lawns and shaved ice swimming in gin. Not all of his fiction (five novels and more than 100 short stories) was set in the heat of the year, but his dominant landscape radiated warmth and possibilities. It was filled with earnest people blinking in the glare of sudden and temporary freedom, with winter a chilly reflex of...

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