Blake Bailey, the author of the Richard Yates A Tragic Honesty who inspired a drinking game here earlier in the year, has a new John Cheever biography coming out. The Boston Globe caught up with Bailey. Thanks to a $42,000 Guggenheim fellowship, Bailey says he plans to spend the next two years explaining how Cheever arrived at his tombstone. (Bailey has until December 2007 to deliver the manuscript.) Which suggests an equally arduous and equally moribund biography of another great writer. But Bailey says that he plans to approach Cheever’s life as “a redemptive fable.” Bailey has already talked to half of his 150 sources and read all 28 volumes of Cheever’s private journals.
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