My friend, Blake Bailey, has two books of critical acclaim. The first, published in 2005 is titled A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates. This book was on a number of lists for Book of the Year and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. This year his book Cheever: A Life was published. So far, it has been named one of the top 10 books of the year by Time magazine and Booklist.
It goes without saying that Blake is an immensely talented guy. But I can most relate to stories like the one here. This is a “fictional” account of the last tragic years of his brother’s life. Maybe because I know all of the “characters.” Pretty depressing but beautifully told. Warning: The piece contains offensive language and is quite sad.