The Center For Fiction hosted a stimulating Celebration of the Stories of John Cheever on the evening of May 31, 2012. Writers Susan Minot, Rick Moody, and Elizabeth Strout each read a Cheever short story special to them, followed by a few words of commentary. This was followed by a panel discussion led by Director Larry Dark, and closed with a question and answer session with the audience. Rick Moody, whose works have been described as Cheever-esque, read with a lively twinkle in his eye and in discussions challenged both Mr. Dark and the audience in response to certain questions, ‘What is genius?’ ‘What is realism? Like genius, I have difficulty defining these types of words.’. Elizabeth Strought read earnestly and Ms. Minot held the audience’s attention moving her eyes felinely, and pausing just at the right moments, as if to make sure the audience understood the nuances written into the words which Cheever powerfully yet so subtly employed.
The second floor of The Center For Fiction was open and airy, with elegant chandeliers and good acoustics. Beverages were available for purchase.