CHEEVER, John. The Stories of John Cheever. Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
8vo. Original black cloth and dustwrapper; pp. viii + 693; fine. Provenance: Ffep inscribed by the author "To Eddie Newhouse with/ my regards./ John Cheever."
First edition of 61 stories including everything from Cheever's five collections plus four works that had never been published in book form. It was published as a celebration of "the Chekhov of the suburbs" and became one of the most successful short story collections in history, selling 125,000 copies in hardback and earning Cheever the Pulitzer Prize.
Edward Newhouse (1911-2002) was a writer and friend of Cheever's who worked with him on The New Yorker. Also included are photocopies of letters from spring 1993 between Newhouse and Philippa Walker concerning a documentary on Cheever, and a letter to Newhouse from Cheever's former New Yorker editor William Maxwell. It would seem that Newhouse had sent the photocopies to Maxwell as part of their discussion about whether they should be involved in Walker's putative film; Maxwell sent the copies back with his reply. Newhouse makes his feelings clear to Walker: "John could not stand the way he was or the way things were, and he tried to relieve the pain by drinking and lying… I know you will understand why I would not wish to say these things into a mike…Please forgive me if I left even a faint impression that I might take part in the project. I have already forgiven myself and laid the blame on your amiability".