Maud Newton on John Cheever’s bed bugs

by nobugsonme on April 1, 2009

in bed bugs, fun, history, new york city

Blogger Maud Newton notes that writer John Cheever was no stranger to Sneaky Simes, the bed bug. She directs our attention to this biography of Cheever, and notes that

At the end of 1939, Cheever returned from a summer job to the “‘grey light of New York apartments.’” Soon he was living on Bank Street “despite having to sleep in the bathtub to avoid bedbugs.”

When not in the tub, he passed the time “lying in bed between stories, smoking and scratching his bedbug bites,” and indulging “in idle reveries about the kind of bon vivant he saw himself becoming.” By September 1940, “the bedbugs had become ‘ravening’ and carpenters descended on the place and began ‘pulling things apart.’” So he set off to join his wife-to-be in New Hampshire.

Nor was this Cheever’s last experience with the plague, which was prevalent in Manhattan even after the war.

Read the rest at Maud Newton: Blog.


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