John Cheever's home in Ossining, N.Y., is for sale, at a bargain price of $525,000, according to a New York Times report.
The sale of the house where Cheever wrote his masterful novels and short stories about suburban angst and glimpses of transcendent beauty follows the death of Cheever's widow, Mary, at 95 in April.
While the five-acre property is being marketed to private buyers, such as a young family, the home, quaintly known as Afterwhile's, appears ready to serve as a Cheever museum. Like William Faulkner's Rowan Oak in Oxford, Miss., such a museum would have strong appeal to writers, scholars and readers.
The home remains much as it was when Cheever and his family lived there, according to the Times. His books remain, along with furniture and furnishings and such mementos as a box that contained a 1957 prescription.
While the Times article doesn't raise the possibility of the home's suitability as a shrine to the writer, it does mention that the home price is so low because significant repairs are required. A prospective buyer might want to tear down the house entirely, which would no doubt draw opposition from Cheever fans wanting to see it preserved.
Perhaps Cheever lovers can establish a Save the Cheever home organization and raise funds. A Cheever museum might raise a fuss from the quiet neighborhood's residents objecting to possible heavy traffic and noise. But such literary museums don't typically draw huge crowds, and literary folks are typically quiet and unobtrusive.
Cheever's home preserved as he lived and worked in it would be a nationally significant landmark, celebrating the life of a major American writer.