Blake Bailey is the author of Cheever: A Life, published earlier this year by Knopf. His previous book, A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Blake is one of the most observant, meticulous authors we know, and he specializes in writing biographies of other writers—a very tricky thing to do well.
In 1974, John Cheever accepted a teaching position at Boston University, the better to distance himself from his family and drink in peace.
On a sweltering day in August 1971, Jerusalem police found a partly decomposed-and weirdly hairless-corpse in a two-story suburban house near the YMCA.