John Cheever

Social order


When The New York Times wanted to explore the upper class’ lack of class here in what was once known as Cheever Country (and is, The Times observed, beginning to feel more like Kennedy Country), the newspaper turned to a man who had grown up at the center of it all – writer Benjamin H. Cheever, one of John Cheever’s three children. It’s hard to think of a more fitting observer. Both father and son have explored the disparity between class (as in socioeconomic) and class (as in character with style) in such works as John Cheever’s stories “The Swimmer” and “O Youth and Beauty” and Ben’s novel “The Good Nanny.”