The Wapshot Chronicle

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The Wapshot Chronicle
First edition
AuthorJohn Cheever
CountryUnited States
PublisherHarper & Brothers
Publication date
March 25, 1957[1]
Media typePrint

The Wapshot Chronicle is the debut novel by American author John Cheever about an eccentric family that lives in a Massachusetts fishing village. Published in 1957, it won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1958,[2] and was followed by a sequel, The Wapshot Scandal, published in 1964.

The Wapshot Chronicle is the sometimes-humorous story of Leander Wapshot, his eccentric Cousin Honora, and his sons, Moses and Coverly, as they all deal with life. The story is somewhat autobiographical, particularly regarding the character of Coverly, who, like Cheever, experiences feelings of bisexuality.

The novel was Cheever's first, though he had previously written short stories. It was also the first novel selected for the Book of the Month Club to include the word fuck in the narrative.[3]

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Wapshot Chronicle 63rd on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.[4]


In 2009, produced an audio version of The Wapshot Chronicle, narrated by Joe Barrett, as part of its Modern Vanguard line of audiobooks.


  1. ^ "Books Published Today". The New York Times: 22. March 25, 1957.
  2. ^ "National Book Awards – 1958". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
    (With essay by Neil Baldwin [1] from the Awards 50-year anniversary publications and from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.) "1958 National Book Awards Winners and Finalists, the National Book Foundation". Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Cheever, John. The Wapshot Chronicle. HarperCollins, 2003, ISBN 0-06-052887-7, pg. xiii.
  4. ^ 100 Best Novels
Preceded by National Book Award for Fiction
Succeeded by