By John Cheever
There was a resurgence of Cheever-itis after a new biography came out last year. I had never heard of him—I grew up in Canada, so he was not on our syllabus—but the stories are haunting. I remember one in particular: "O City of Broken Dreams." It's about a family who comes to New York City from Indiana. I really felt for those characters—they're trying to move in sophisticated circles, but the reality is, they're going to get eaten alive. That could so easily have been me. I felt as if I were wearing hip waders and smoking a corncob pipe for two or three years when I first came to New York.
"It shattered me!"