Carver's career was dedicated to short stories and poetry. He described himself as "inclined toward brevity and intensity" and "hooked on writing short stories" . Another stated reason for his brevity was "that the story [or poem] can be written and read in one sitting." This was not simply a preference but, particularly at the beginning of his career, a practical consideration as he juggled writing with work. His subject matter was often focused on blue-collar experience, and was clearly reflective of his own life. The same could probably be said of the recurring theme of alcoholism and recovery. *
Where I'm Calling From
By the time of his early death in 1988, Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the great practitioners of the American short story, a writer who had not only found his own voice but imprinted it in the imaginations of thousands of readers. Where I'm Calling From, his last collection, encompasses classic stories from Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and earlier Carver volumes, along with seven new works previously unpublished in book form. Together, these 37 stories give us a superb overview of Carver's life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never equaled.
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
In his second collection of stories, as in his first, Carver's characters are peripheral people--people without education, insight or prospects, people too unimaginative to even give up. Carver celebrates these men and women.
"A dozen stories that overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life...Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty...his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
"Cathedral contains astonishing achievements, which bespeaks a writer expanding his range of intentions."--The Boston Globe
"A few of Mr. Carver's stories can already be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction...Cathedral shows a gifted writer struggling for a larger scope of reference, a finer touch of nuance." --Irving Howe, front page, The New York Times Book Review
"Clear, hard language so right that we shiver at the knowledge we gain from it." --Thomas Williams, Chicago Tribune Book World
"Carver is more than a realist; there is, in some of his stories, a strangeness, the husk of a myth." --Los Angeles Times