Translation: various authors
John Cheever's short stories are the great literary testimony of the American middle class of the fifties and sixties. Known as "the American Chekhov", he was the great chronicler of that almost mythological territory of the residential areas on the outskirts of the big cities, with their cocktail and pool parties, their awakenings with newspapers at the door, hats, briefcases and kisses to the children, afternoons with Benny Goodman quartets on the radio and whole nights longing for a different life. Cheever masterfully turned that mirage of success and happiness into the scenario of the glories and sorrows of families that, between frustration, desire and boredom, make up an incomparable portrait of the human soul that transcends any era or country.
This edition includes an epilogue by Rodrigo Fresán and maintains Cheever's own selection, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle after its publication in 1978. Covering a career spanning almost three decades, it contains such emblematic stories as "The Swimmer", a dreamlike portrait of a man adrift, or "The Rural Husband", a miniature novel in the Nabokov style, whose protagonist survives a plane crash and returns home to the total indifference of his family.
Cheever, who struggled all his life with alcohol addiction and a repressed bisexuality, proved to know perfectly well the ravages of the most hidden passions when they explode without a sound. In the midst of darkness he knew how to find glimmers in the dullest of existences, faint rays of light that in his hands ended up illuminating an entire life.