No writer ever gazed deeper or more despairingly into the prison of middle-class American conformity than Richard Yates, which might explain why none of his books sold more than 12,000 copies in his lifetime and why it has 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, 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 "The Age of Anxiety" and found that the plasticine dream of suburban bliss was something closer to a... More >>>