A master of the short story, John Cheever helped make the New Yorker's fiction section a reliably good read from the 1950s up until his death in the early '80s. Often featuring unhappy, upper-middle-class characters, Cheever depicted the underside of living well with an unwavering eye.
John Cheever, best known for his short stories dealing with upper-middle-class suburban life, was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1912. Cheever published his first short story at the age of seventeen. He was the recipient of a 1951 Guggenheim Fellowship and winner of a National Book Award for The Wapshot Chronicle in 1958, the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Stories of John Cheever, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and an American Book Award. He died in 1982, at the age of seventy.