John Cheever

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“There is a time to write and a time to walk and a time to reflect and a time to act and I come unwillingly to this journal today, wanting to do something less reflective and feeling that I sometimes strip myself of my most reasonable attributes, bent over this machine.”

By One Great Sentence January 10, 2018

In August 1991, I read John Cheever’s journal excerpts published in The New Yorker. I was a 19-year-old college dropout, a waitress, and in the half hour before starting my shift, I sat outside my local library, electrified by this candid, … Read more

“She was beautiful but when she tasted the water from the glass on her lectern she smiled sadly as if it were bitter for, in spite of her civil zeal, she had a taste for the melancholy – for the smell of orange rinds and wood smoke – that was extraordinary.”

By One Great Sentence May 4, 2017

Why is it great? When I moved back to New England last year after nearly a lifetime away, John Cheever’s debut novel about a quirky New England family was the first thing I read. This sentence, near the beginning, captured … Read more