No writer ever gazed deeper or more despairingly into the prison of middle-class American conformity than Richard Yates, which may explain why none of his books sold more than 12,000 copies in his lifetime and why it's taken more than 40 years for one of them to reach the big screen. It is said that we go to the movies for escapism, after all, and Yates's great subject was the very thing many of us seek to escape — namely, the lives of prefabricated mediocrity we settle for when personal ambition yields to the desire to be "just like everyone else." Decades before divorce lawyers and prescription pharmaceuticals became convenient panaceas for all that ails us, Yates (1926–1992) pulled back the curtain on Auden's "Age of Anxiety" and found that the plasticine dream of suburban bliss was something closer to a... More >>>