The Brothers

John Cheever

They always planned to come up the driveway of Amy’s farm in the late afternoon, and in those years no habit of theirs was more seldom broken. On Saturdays Kenneth’s office closed at one, and since Tom wasn’t working then, he met him downtown and they lunched together in a restaurant near the market, drinking a lot of beer and talking with the old barman about the horses that had run that season. After lunch they walked into the Italian quarter looking for something to buy as a present for Amy. Many of the marketmen knew by sight the two young Yankees, who came there every Saturday afternoon, and they joked with them about their girls or their car or their knowledge of Italian. After joking and haggling for half an hour that afternoon, they came away with a gallon of wine and walked back to Dock Square, where their Ford was parked.

The brothers never argued about who would drive, for during the four years they had lived together, they had fal­len into such a routine that it was inconceivable that one or the other of them would question it. This week it was Tom’s turn. They drove down Atlantic Avenue and crossed the harbor on the ferry. Aboard the boat they went to the en­gine room and talked with the stokers who had learned to expect them with the same assurance as the marketmen. When the signals came to reverse the engine, they climbed from the hold and started the Ford again, driving out through Maverick square to the turnpike that runs between Boston and Newburyport. It was a fine day in September. Some of the roadside stands and lunch carts were already shuttered against the winter, and a light wind was bringing down the first leaves. The country that lay along the road was one of the exhausted regions of New England with its broken walls and gutted houses. But it was the New England of their fathers, and though they never talked of it, they loved it in spite of what time and industry had done to its timber and its fields. Their affection for it was a part of the singular life they led together, from which they jealously excluded the rest of the world, as if sharing it with others would be some betrayal of their pleasure. It belonged to their private fund of experience, like the crowded streets of the Italian quarter and the conversation of the stokers and the wharves of the East Shore, where they sometimes watched the freighters load; or the fugitive saloons along Howard Street, where they were known by all the barmen and waitresses.

They stopped in Topsfield and had a couple of beers, and Kenneth bought a carton of cigarettes. There they turned off the turnpike into an empty road, and Kenneth took the car sixty-five and seventy miles an hour. The country of the Merrimack valley was familiar and reassuring, and it was less than a half hour after leaving Topsfield that they drove in at the stone gates of Amy’s farm. The light of the afternoon was going, and the shadows of the maples reached a long way out across the fields. Through the trees they could see the faded white walls of the farm, and then they could hear the police dog beginning to bark.

When Amy heard the Ford rattling over the ruts of the driveway, she laid down her book. Four years ago the brothers had come down to her farm for the first time and since then their week-end visits had become one of the most regular and dependable things in her life. She had grown to know them and love them and to acknowledge whatever part the fact that they were homeless, and she was widowed, with a daughter but no son of her own, might have in fostering their relations. Once they had brought their mother down with them, and Amy knew the story of their mother and father and the separation. She had been able to gauge the bitterness of their feeling about it not so much by anything they had said, as by the strength of the brothers’ attachment for each other that had grown out of the divorce.

Amy remembered their little, capricious mother with her dyed hair and her strident stagy voice. She had smoked all the time. She was restless, and fond of travel. She was also vain. It was evident that when she was young she had had a hard kind of beauty, and refused to realize that she had lost it. Amy could see that love had never penetrated her immense vanity—that she had never loved her husband or her sons. At the time when her sons began to look to her for companionship, they found their mother completely ab­sorbed in despising her husband. They had told Amy a good deal about their parents—how their father tired in the end of giving his wife the adoration and flattery that had sus­tained their relation, and she took his silence for abuse; how their love came to an absolute end, and in its place they be­gan to nourish a hatred that was more various and absorbing than their love had ever been, so that all family gatherings became very uncomfortable, for if there was not an open quarrel at the dinner table there was a silent tension worse than the tears and the screaming. The boys were young enough to be greatly upset by the growth of this hatred, and in trying to make something out of their own lives, to bring some peace and order into the household, they became deeply attached to each other.

It was during the months following the divorce that Amy met the brothers.

By the time Kenneth was twenty and Tom seventeen, it was clear that their parents couldn’t live together any longer. There was one night when their mother became hysterical. They did not pity her. They did not sympathize with her. They saw her standing at the head of the stairs with her hair down over her shoulders, screaming and screaming and screaming. After that their father had gone to live in a hotel, and preparations were made for a divorce. The divorce proceedings, with the stale smell of cigars in the court-house corridor, brought the brothers still closer together, and when it was all over and their home had been emptied and put up for sale, they took a small apartment in the city, where Kenneth had found a job. Shortly afterward, their father had died, and their mother had gone to California to live with an elderly, well-to-do aunt.

It was during the months following the divorce that Amy met the brothers. Before they had begun to visit her, such social life as they had was in the saloons along Howard Street. She welcomed them to the farm, and as she liked having them about and thought their companionship would be good for her daughter, they had a standing invitation to come back there whenever they wanted to. She knew how deeply men enjoy a familiar room, and she had given them that room. When she walked down the hallway with them and saw the lamps in the kitchen and smelled the baking bread and heard the rattle of crockery, she was as conscious of their pleasure as if she were walking through the streets of a strange town and were observing all this from the cold.

She wondered whether anything would come of the brothers’ visits beyond mere friendship. They were good­-looking and attractive and liked being with women though they were obviously not dependent on them. She would be glad, she thought, if her daughter were to marry one of them, but she doubted if this would happen, for Tom and Kenneth were so engrossed in the life they had managed to shape together out of the wreck of their expectations, and so devoted to each other, that they seemed to think of Jane and herself only as casual week-end companions. She did not resent this, and she was as happy as if it were her own sons she was expecting when she heard the klaxon and saw their Ford coming up the drive.

The police dog loped down the dusty road and began to bark at the wheels of the car.

“Hullo Fritz,” Tom called to him. “Hullo boy. Hullo there.”

Then they stopped the car in front of the barn, and Amy walked across the drive and embraced them as they got out.

“Hullo strangers.”

“Hullo darling.”

“Hullo, hullo.”

“It’s awfully good to see you,” she said, “Where’ve you been keeping yourselves? I thought you’d forgotten all about me—all about me. Account for yourselves. What have you been doing? Why weren’t you down last week? What’s your excuse?” She took the arms of both and held them warmly.

“Well you see, Amy, it was this way. The car…”

Her laughter interrupted Kenneth. “You can’t blame it on the car again,” she said.

“But really, Amy. We tried to put in a new head gasket, and we got the head off and…”

“Well it’s good to have you back again,” she said, “even if you do forget me. You both look fine. You’re getting thin­ner, Tom. I don’t know where Jane is,” she said as they started across the lawn. “She’s been talking about you all week and now that you’ve come, she’s not here, of course. Well, tell me what you’ve been doing. I haven’t seen a strange face for two weeks.”

Arm in arm the three walked up the lawn and crossed the porch to the other side of the house, which had a view of the broad, slow river and the hills. The sun had gone down, and the light in the west was beginning to whiten and harden, and against this the hills were very dark.

“Well, is there any news from the city?” Amy asked. “I haven’t read a paper all week. Walter still sends down the ‘Times,’ but I don’t look at it. I wouldn’t have known if war had been declared all over Europe. And I wouldn’t have cared, I suppose,” she added.

After the excitement of greeting was over, she looked around for Jane and wondered where she was. She had always been there to meet them when they came.

“Well, have the big powers declared war?” she asked.

“There hasn’t been any declaration,” Kenneth said, “but the newspapers keep drumming up the war scare. Where is Germany marching? Where is Italy marching? Where is Russia marching? Battles in Spain and riots in lots of places.”

He also wondered where Jane was. He knew she wasn’t in the house for she would have been playing the phonograph, or he would have heard her slamming a door. But he didn’t miss her.

“I don’t read the papers any longer,” Amy said. “I don’t know why…” She was interrupted by the sound of a rider. They turned and saw Jane galloping her horse across the field and into the road.

“Oh, there’s Jane,” Amy said. “I wondered where she was.”

“I wouldn’t want to be in Europe this winter,” Kenneth said.

“Neither would I.”

Between their sentences they could hear Jane’s distant, clear voice—she was talking affectionately to the mare as she unsaddled her and led her into the stall. Then they heard her whistling as she crossed the lawn and came up the porch steps.


“Hullo Jane.”

“Hullo, you strangers, you deceivers. Where’ve you been all the time?”

She embraced both of them and sat down on the porch railing beside Kenneth.

“It’s awfully good to see you again,” she said, “awfully good. We don’t see many strange faces you know. We’re gradually losing contact with the world. Believe it or not, but I walked down to the village on Wednesday night to see the train come through. And Mother’s stopped reading the ‘Times.’”

“Oh, see the star,” Amy said, pointing into the afterglow. “Right there at the tip of that tree. See it? The winter stars will be coming up in a little while now. Brrrr.” She pretended to shiver and drew her jacket around her shoulders, “I hate to think of it. Maybe I can go to New York for Christmas.”

“How is the car running?” Jane asked.

“Good,” Kenneth said slowly. “We still get seventy out of it. It rattles like hell.”

“I’d like to go to New York for Christmas,” Amy said.

“I’d like to go to Canada,” Kenneth said.


Jane began to sing “Star Dust” in a low fresh voice. Then they heard someone slamming a door, and the cook began to ring the dinner bell. “Goody, goody,” Jane said, getting up from the railing and taking Kenneth’s arm. “Take me in to dinner, Mister? Just for practice. Just in case I ever should get to a city.”

After dinner they went into the living room and talked, and the brothers took turns dancing with Jane to the music of the old phonograph. Jane enjoyed having them both to dance with, but she liked Kenneth so much more than Tom that she would have preferred him alone even to the com­pany and the flattery of the two. She had been unable to explain or describe her preference very clearly, but she knew that she thought continually about Kenneth and that the dependence she felt upon his indifference or attention, and the jealousy she felt at each interested word he ex­changed with Amy or Tom, were growing stronger.

“Want to go down to Larssen’s?” Kenneth asked.

“Sure,” Tom said. “That sounds good. How about it, Jane?”

“That sounds awfully good,” she said. “That sounds wonderful. Will it be all right if the boys take me down to Larssen’s, Mother?”

“Of course, it’s all right,” Amy said. “I’m going to bed anyhow.”

Jane took the brothers’ arms. “We’re going down to Larssen’s,” she sang, “we’re going down to Larssen’s, we’re going down to Larssen’s.” She went up and kissed Amy.

“See you in the morning, darling. Good night.”

“Good night, Amy.”

“Take good care of her, won’t you?”

When they left the house the police dog thought they were going for a walk, and he began to gambol around them; and to jump up on Jane. “No, Fritz,” she said, “we’re not going to take a walk. We’re going down to Larssen’s and drink applejack, and you wouldn’t want to come, even if we wanted to take you. No Fritz, down.” When the dog saw that they were taking the car, he quieted down and went back to the house.

Jane sat between the brothers and Tom drove, racing the car down the rough, twisting drive in second. The night was cool and still and misty and there was a moon in the southeast, filling the mist with light. Tom drove as fast as the car would go and turned the corners without slowing so that he could feel the body lean and the tires grip the road. They drove out into the hills beyond the river, where Lars­sen had his farm. The old Swede opened the door when he saw their headlights. “Hallo Mr. Manchester! Hallo Mr. Manchester!” he called across the drive. “You got a girl with you? Oh, hallo there, Miss Henderson! Come right in. Come right in.” They followed him through the kitchen down into the cellar, where he sold his applejack.

“I guess you’d better bring us a quart,” Kenneth said.

Larssen returned in a few minutes with a quart of clear, raw applejack and three jelly glasses.

“Want me to leave the door open,” he asked, “so you can hear the radio?”

“Sure,” Kenneth said, “that would be good.”

“How’s business?” Tom asked.

“Not so good,” Larssen said sadly, “not so good,” He talked for a little while about how bad his business was and then he went upstairs, leaving the door open so that they could hear some faint dance music coming from a club in New York.

Jane had not remembered the desolation of the place, and it surprised and disappointed her. With the exception of theirs, the tables were empty, and the light was weak, and Larssen’s smelly clothes and his long pale face had repelled her. The liquor was hot and raw, and she had to light one cigarette from another to kill the taste. The fact that the boys didn’t seem to be at all conscious of her uneasiness only made it worse. She felt uncomfortably as if she were intruding into something that was only for men, like a smoker or a burlesque show. Above everything, she felt how accustomed the boys were to sitting across from each other at table with no one between them.

They gave this impression strongly, for their own relations were singularly personal and sensitive and appeared to have nothing to do with their easy but impersonal relations to other people. The things that were important to them they did together, and by the same token they respected each other’s privacy in casual affairs. In the city both had their girls, and they took them out separately, and if Ken­neth knew Tom had a girl in the apartment, he would spend the night in a hotel. All this was a part of the tacit understanding that seemed to enclose their lives.

She felt uncomfortably as if she were intruding into something that was only for men, like a smoker or a burlesque show.

If the brothers had been alone, they would have felt no obligation to talk or they would have talked intermittently about the world that was their own—the freighters, docks, highways, saloons, burlesque girls—or about a late afternoon when they had driven into Scranton, or another when they had waited for the ferry at Levis, or an evening when they had eaten supper at a Child’s in Trenton or had played a jazz record in their apartment. Even now their talk kept awkwardly returning to things that left Jane out. Kenneth would mention a boxer or a dancer she did not know, and Tom, realizing that Jane did not understand what they were talking about, would change the subject.

Jane saw clearly the indifference with which Kenneth listened to her and the eagerness with which he listened to his brother, but after several drinks she felt an overwhelming desire to win his interest. Just watching his hand reach across the table for the ash tray, excited her. She was a little drunk, and she felt powerful and shrewd and beautiful.

When the bottle was half emptied, they corked it up, and Kenneth put it under his coat, and they left the cellar. They said good night to Larssen and went out the back door into the yard. Jane went first, Tom following her. Kenneth stood in the doorway for a little while, talking with Lars­sen.

It was cooler than it had been when they entered the house, and the air tasted of frost. The moon was over a cornfield, the shocks black and distinct against the light. Against this light Tom could see Jane going straight out into the field. She walked quickly and nervously, and then she turned and looked back at Kenneth standing in the bright doorway. Tom saw her throw herself violently onto the ground, and then he heard her call, “Kenneth, Ken­neth, Kenneth!”

Kenneth ran over to where she was lying and picked her up and supported her in his arms.

“I’ve sprained my ankle or something,” she said softly. “It’s stupid of me. I must have stumbled in a hole. It’s stupid of me but it hurts, it hurts.”

“What’s the matter, Jane?” Tom asked.

“I stumbled,” she said. “It isn’t serious or anything, I just stumbled in a hole. It hurts a little.”

“Miss Henderson hurt herself?” Larssen called.

“It’s nothing,” she said, and hobbled over to the car.

Then Tom started the Ford, and they drove quickly back to the farm.

Leaving Jane and his brother at the front door, Tom took the car to the barn. When he came into the living room, they were sitting together by the fire, and Jane was talking animatedly. She had forgotten all about her ankle, and by her voice Tom could tell she was very happy. “Good night,” he said, “I guess I’ll go up.” He started up the stairs, but before he had reached the landing, Kenneth called to him.

“Going up now?”

“Yeah. I’m sleepy.”

“Well, I’ll be up in a minute,” Kenneth said. “I’ll see you upstairs.”

“Why don’t you stay down?” Jane asked putting her hand on Kenneth’s arm. “It’s early. And you can sleep to­morrow morning. And think of me. I won’t see you again till next week. That’s seven days. Seven days of walking around the house thinking of things to say to you when you do come. Stay down a little longer. Think of me.”

Tom went to their room and undressed and climbed into bed. But a few minutes later he heard Kenneth coming up the stairs and into the room.

“Asleep, Tom?” Kenneth asked in a low voice.


“Want a cigarette?”

“No thanks.”

Kenneth lit a cigarette and sat on the edge of the bed. “I suppose it’s this autumn weather,” he said, “makes me think of winter. You know we’ll be skiing in a couple of months.”

“Yeah,” Tom yawned.

“I’d like to go up to Canada,” Kenneth said. “Colby was telling me about a run up there I’d like to try. It’s about sixty miles out of Montreal. It runs between Ste. Agathe and a town called Shawbridge.”

Tom said nothing.

“If I could get a couple of days off at New Year’s, we could go up then. We could go up by train. I guess it would be easier. Gee, remember the last time we were in Quebec? And we opened that warm bottle of Burgundy and it sprayed all over the room, and we tried to sop it up with copies of L’Avenir National and the landlady gave us hell…”

In the morning Tom woke up before his brother and left the room without waking him. He breakfasted with Amy and then went down to the river and pulled the canoe off the float. He sat in the stern, paddling slowly and twisting the paddle with each stroke to correct the direction of the canoe, and while he travelled upstream he thought seriously about Kenneth and Jane and himself. He was not greatly worried, though he was disturbed. He loved his brother, and this love was the strongest thing in his comprehension; but it was a love that held no jealousy and no fear and no in­crease, and in the beginning it had been as simple as walk­ing into the sun. What disturbed him was Jane’s desire for Kenneth and Kenneth’s indifference to her, for it seemed that Kenneth had acted with a complacency and an absorp­tion that were not like him. It was the first time it had oc­curred to Tom that their devotion to each other might be stronger than their love of any girl or even than their love of the world.

He purposely went far up the river in order to stay away from the farm. During his absence, Jane and Kenneth would be alone, and perhaps everything would be straightened out. He rested his paddle, letting the wind and the current swing him about and carry him slowly back towards the familiar hills. When he came into view of the landing he saw someone standing there. So far off he would have been unable to recognize anyone else, but he knew the way Kenneth wore his hats and his jackets and the way he shot his cigarette butts or stooped to tease the dog.

Standing by her bedroom window, Jane had seen Tom go upstream in the canoe. Then she waited for Kenneth either to walk to the landing after his brother, or to stay around the house and look for her. When he had taken the path to the river, she began to cry and to call him a fool and a weakling. She saw his devotion to his brother and his indifference to her as some meanness in his character. She ate breakfast by herself and took a book and some cigarettes and went off angrily into the woods behind the farm, staying there until she could tell by the height of the sun that she would be late for dinner.

The responsibility was intense as any desire.

Amy said it was probably the last time they would be able to eat Sunday dinner on the porch. As it was, the flies kept lighting on the roast, and she had to keep waving her hand over the platter. Tom sat next to her and helped serve. Beside the brothers there was another guest—George, an undergraduate from Cambridge whose parents Amy knew. When they sat down, Jane’s place was empty. But she came in a few minutes later, looking composed and happy, and sat down by George and flirted and joked with him in a loud voice. He was pleased with the flattery; but the rest at the table grew silent and embarrassed at her laughter and talk. Then as soon as the meal was finished, Jane dropped her attentions to George and got up and walked off by her­self.

Kenneth fell asleep after dinner, and Tom pitched horse­ shoes with George in a lot behind the barn. Towards the end of the afternoon the air turned sharp and cool, and they could feel it on their faces and hands and on the cold iron of the horseshoes. When Tom returned to the house, Amy was arranging an armful of painted maple leaves. “See what I’ve found,” she said. “Aren’t they lovely?” The leaves were red and yellow and orange, and they rustled under her hands. A fire was burning on the hearth, and the air of the room was warmer and heavier than the air of the fields. Tom sat down beside Kenneth and they began to talk about the new Ford motors.

When Jane came in and found the brothers there, she put on a loud phonograph record and asked Kenneth to dance. “I’ve got rubber soles on,” he said, pointing to his sneakers. “I can’t dance with these shoes on.—They’ll never be anything like the old fours,” he said, turning back to his brother. “You used to be able to get at those motors. I could take the head off the old sedan in five minutes.”

Jane went out onto the porch and looked up at the sky, furious with jealousy. The sun was going down in a mass of thunderous clouds, beyond the river and the hills. She could walk with him and show him this, she thought—as if the sky were her own land. She would show him how dark the hills and the buildings between them and the sky could become at that instant before dark; like a burnt match, like a burnt piece of wood.

She was standing by the railing looking up at the sky when she heard them coming out onto the porch. At first she thought it might be Kenneth alone, but when she turned she saw that Tom and George were with him. George was carrying a coat for her. “It’s cold out here,” he said, “you’d better put this on.”

“Thanks,” she said indifferently, taking the coat and hanging it over the porch railing. Then she spoke before she had planned or weighed her words. “Want to go for a walk with me, Kenneth?”

He looked up vaguely, unaware, it seemed, of the painful importance she attached to the question.

“I don’t know,” he said. He turned involuntarily to his brother as he had turned to him for years. “Want to go for a walk, Tom?” he asked.

“No, I don’t think so,” Tom said quickly. He knew what her question had meant.

“I don’t think I want to go,” Kenneth repeated after his brother.

Jane stood still for a moment and then slipped on her coat and walked over to George, leaning so close to him that her body touched his.

“You’ll walk with me, darling,” she said, “won’t you? You’ll walk with me?”

“Sure,” he said, “sure I’ll walk with you.”

She took his arm, glancing back over her shoulder at the brothers. She measured Tom with jealous hatred, and he felt it more sharply than he would have done if she had stood there screaming and reviling him with foul, bitter curses. He wanted to explain to her, to talk to her, to follow her, but there was nothing he could do, or say, even to himself. She looked young and lovely and angry as she walked down the porch with George, holding tightly to his arm. Tom watched them go under the maples and down the dirt road.

About an hour after dark, the cook brought supper into the living room. It was cold outside, and the wind had risen and sounded stormy. But there was no rain, and from the windows they could see the moon and the clouds, colored like a bruise, filing across the moon. George and Jane had not come back from their walk. They were probably in the hayloft, Tom guessed, and it all seemed useless and foolish, for he had felt Jane’s deep dislike of George. They hadn’t returned when Tom and Kenneth got ready to leave.

The brothers said goodbye to Amy, who went to the door with them, standing on the stoop with a coat thrown over her shoulders.

“Good-bye,” she said, “come down next week end if you can make it. Please. Good-bye.”

As they started the car, they could see her standing against the light in the hall, and then she called the dog and turned and went into the house.

The grease in the transmission was cold, and Tom knew his hands would feel cold on the wheel before they got back to the city. At Topsfield they turned into the turnpike again and drove down the familiar road. But no road of Europe or any other country could have seemed stranger to Tom. He had decided to go away.

Still thinking of Jane’s glance, he saw no earthly rea­son in their going on together and in cherishing their habitual round, their aimless comings and goings, the little certainty they had rescued from the wreck of their home. He felt a sharp thrust of responsibility for them both­—they must live and not wear out their lives like old clothes in a devotion that would defeat its own purpose. The responsibility was intense as any desire.

On the following night he took a bus to New York. His explanation was simple. "I can’t find work here. I may as well try some other city. I have twenty-five dollars. I’m not sure where I’ll go. Maybe New York. Maybe Buffalo. Maybe Syracuse. I’ll write as soon as I get settled."

Kenneth went down and saw him off. They drank a couple of whiskeys on Howard Street. Kenneth realized why he was leaving by that time, but knew it would be as foolish to argue with him as to argue with an infatuated man. They talked casually on the way to the bus stop and then shook hands, and Kenneth stood on the curb, watching the bus pull out.

He went down to the farm alone that week end for the first time in his life. Jane was there, but she showed no in­terest in him. His attraction for her had been the result partly of jealous pride, partly of loneliness. She was making arrangements to go and live with Amy’s sister in Chi­cago, and had become indifferent to anything that hap­pened on the farm.

When Amy asked him why Tom had gone, he could give her only Tom’s own explanation of his departure. “He’s gone to New York looking for work. Or maybe Buffalo. Or maybe Syracuse. He hadn’t decided when he left. He said he’d write when he gets settled.” Amy took his arm and they walked down the porch together, and he was lonely and miserable then. An instant after speaking, he felt as if something had been torn from his own body.

He spent the afternoon playing touch football, and didn’t come back to the house until time for dinner. He was very quiet at the table, and they were all self-conscious, not wanting to speak of Tom, who was in their minds. When dinner was over, he went into the musty living room with the others. He didn’t want to drink. He didn’t want to race the car. Absently he watched the fire, roaring up the flue. The others were reading, but they looked up furtively when he took his jacket and got up and went out of the house.

He went down the drive, and at the gateposts he turned off towards the river, walking straight across the fields with the bush and grass whipping at his trousers. It was one of the first great nights of autumn, and the wind tasted of winter and of the season’s end and moved in the trees with the noise of a conflagration. He made a mechanical clutch­ing gesture with his hands as if something were slipping through them. He saw the dark hills, darker than the sky, and the grass and the trees and the river, as if he had never seen them before. Now he felt the pain that Tom had brought down on both of them without any indignation; they had tried to give their lives some meaning and order, and for love of the same world that had driven them to­gether they had had to separate. He walked through the fields clutching involuntarily at the air, as if something were slipping from his grasp, and swearing and looking around him like a stranger at the new, strange, vivid world.

John Cheever (1912-1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. His books won numerous awards, including multiple National Book Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.
Originally published:
June 1, 1937


Rachel Cusk

The novelist on the “feminine non-state of non-being”
Merve Emre


Renaissance Women

A new book celebrates—and sells short—Shakespeare’s sisters
Catherine Nicholson

Fady Joudah

The poet on how the war in Gaza changed his work
Aria Aber

You Might Also Like

The Blessing of Kali

Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu

The Mirror

Haruki Murakami
translated by Philip Gabriel


Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.