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Cheever's journals, begun in the late 1940s, provide insight into his literary creations and reveal much about his complex, often tormented life.
In Rome, he escapes "the alcoholic life of a minor literarycelebrity." In Ossining, he recognizes the progressive nature of his disease. Recovery comes, but so does the cancer that took his life in 1982, with the last entry here written days before his death. More so than his letters, these journals remind us that Cheever has earned his place among the modern masters.