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June 20, 2021: Website updated and revised.

“Summer In Uummannaq” Now Out In The Chamber Magazine

John-Cheever John Cheever was an American writer most noted for his short stories, many of which appeared in the New Yorker. I bought his collected stories from a used book bin two years ago and read them through.

Cheever basically wrote the quintessential New Yorker short story, appearing a hundred times in the magazine from the mid ’30’s until 1981. In other words, he was one of the magazine’s hallmarks for decades. His stories are largely provincial, most concerning the trials and tribulations of Manhattanites or other denizens of the Tristate area with a narrow focus on a specific demographic, white, well educated, not wealthy so much as affluent, and beset by the seemingly petty dilemmas that befall those with sufficient leisure and funds to vacation in the Poconos. There were occasional flashes of humor, some quite amusing. Most apparent though, was the constant evocation of acedia, of the emptiness at the center of one’s life no matter how successful or comfortable, and the desperate acts that sometimes provokes.

I was so struck by the stories’ almost rigidly formulaic nature that I felt compelled to write my own version of a Cheever story, albeit in a science fiction context and with the characters as insanely wealthy rather than upper middle class. Summer In Uummannaq describes that fateful holiday when the Vanderbilts went to their summer home on Greenland’s lush, tropical, west coast and prolonged, intense sibling rivalry finally led to mayhem. It’s out in the June 2021 issue of The Chamber and can be read for free. The Chamber is an online magazine that accepts dark literature of all genres from around the world. I don’t think you need to be familiar with Cheever to enjoy the yarn. To do so, click the link below:

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