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What It Used to Be Like
Maryann Burk Carver
0312332580
July 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Though it's the relationship with Tess Gallagher during the last years of his life that most people remember, the majority of Raymond Carver's literary accomplishments took place during his 25-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. But while her story offers some biographical insights into how short stories like "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" were created, it's essentially a cliché-filled tale of the artist's suffering wife. During their honeymoon, he tells her that if he had to choose between her and writing, he'd take the writing. She doesn't get the hint, and time after time she winds up dropping out of college so she can support her family as Raymond struggles through creative writing programs and, later, alcoholism (years later, she recognizes her behavior as classic co-dependency). Their...


Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School
Gotham Writers' Workshop (Editor)
1582343306
August 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The faculty of the Gotham Writers' Workshop-which now has 6,000 students not only in New York City but around the world (with online classes)-use an original approach in this how-to: Raymond Carver's classic story "Cathedral" (reprinted in the book) serves as a basis for their discussion of technique. The contributors are not household names, but all are published authors of fiction. Chapters touch on all the essentials: character development, pacing, dialogue and revision ("Real Writers Revise" the chapter title exhorts). All expand on the idea that "good writing comes down to craft far more than most people realize," while also reminding aspiring authors that "rules are made to be broken." The writing is fresh and full of concrete advice (e.g., "Desire is in the heart of every dimensional character"), and...


All of Us
Raymond Carver
0375703802
Apr 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
In the late '70s and early '80s, Raymond Carver's spare, moving fiction had an impact on American letters like nothing before or since. But Carver began life as a poet, and it might be argued that in their striking rhythms, their almost lyric compression, his stories resemble nothing so much as narrative verse. In All of Us, his collected poems, we find what his widow, Tess Gallagher, calls "the spiritual current out of which he moved to write the short stories." Played out against the quintessential Carver emotional landscapes of loneliness and alcohol and not enough money, these poems seem to contain the seeds of his stories within them, sometimes caught in a single image, line, or idea. Any Carver aficionado will experience shivers of recognition while reading this volume: how the final moments of "My Dad's Wallet" ("our...


Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories (Vintage Contemporaries Series)
Raymond Carver
0679722319
June 1989
Paperback
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Book Review
The last story collection published during Carver's life (he died in 1988) contains most of his greatest hits from his earlier books, as well as seven stories that hadn't been collected up to that point. The breadth of the collection makes these 37 stories an extremely complete map of Carver territory, of a particular area of America and of the specific texture of the people Carver writes about -- their difficult attempts at survival in a world where happiness does not arrive wrapped up in neat packages but comes in far more peculiar parcels, if it comes at all.

From Publishers Weekly
The cool streamlined style of this modern master of the short story has spawned dozens of younger writers who seek to follow in Carver's footsteps. But where the Brat Pack frequently produces flat,...


Good Poems for Hard Times
Garrison Keillor
0670034363
September 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Booklist
Having revived the radio variety program with A Prairie Home Companion Garrison Keillor turned to broadcasting poetry in the daily short feature The Writer's Almanac. In any given week, probably more people hear him read poems than attend poetry readings and slams. That's good because his taste is excellent. But then, his criteria are golden. For him, a poem is good if it's memorable, recitable, and accessible. The almost-unheard-of-for-poetry sales of Good Poems (2002) suggest that many endorse his taste and criteria, and the sequel to that success gives them no reason to change their minds. As before, the range of poets represented is broad contemporarily (the majority are alive or very recently deceased) and historically (sixteenth to twenty-first century), though not internationally, for, with one...


Call If You Need Me
Raymond Carver
0375726284
Jan 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
This varied collection of fiction and prose from the late, great Raymond Carver comes, once again, with an introduction by his widow, Tess Gallagher. The posthumous Carver industry, as overseen by Gallagher, rivals only that of Sylvia Plath for its thoroughness. Perhaps it's no coincidence: both were singular, contagiously influential writers who died too early. But Plath died famously miserable, while Carver died famously happy, having conquered alcohol, loneliness, and obscurity--having conquered, indeed, everything but his own disobedient cancerous cells.

Call If You Need Me includes works previously collected, as well as some that have never been seen before. Five new stories, discovered by Gallagher among Carver's papers, are themselves worth the price of admission. Particularly haunting is "Kindling," a tale of a...



Cathedral
Raymond Carver
0679723692
June 1989
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
It was morning in America when Raymond Carver's Cathedral came out in 1983, but the characters in this dry collection of short stories from the forgotten corners of land of opportunity didn't receive much sunlight. Nothing much happens to the subjects of Carver's fiction, which is precisely why they are so harrowing: nothingness is a daunting presence to overcome. And rarely do they prevail, but the loneliness and quiet struggle the characters endure provide fertile ground for literary triumph, particularly in the hands of Carver, who was perhaps in his best form with this effort.

The New York Times Book Review, Irving Howe
Cathedral contains a number of similar stories, very skillful within their narrow limits, written with a dry intensity, and moving, at their...


Gotham Writers' Workshop Fiction Gallery
Gotham Writers' Workshop
1582344620
August 2004
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Arranged by themes, the stories in this terrific collection can be read both for enjoyment and for literary merit. They were written by established as well as recently published authors and include works by Anton Chekhov and Myla Goldberg. Topics range from crimes of passion to the humdrum of everyday life, and the tales' brevity and cutting-edge themes will appeal to busy students. Many of the pieces deal with contemporary issues like one-night stands (Pam Houston's "Sometimes You Talk about Idaho"), cheating (Ethan Canin's "The Palace Thief"), world destruction (T.C. Boyle's "After the Plague"), intolerance (Z.Z. Packer's "Brownies"), and the impersonal workplace (Daniel Orozco's "Orientation"). Each story is captivating; some are shocking. The selections are great examples of how...


Where Water Comes Together with Other Water
Raymond Carver
039474327X
Mar 1986
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Best-known for his wonderful short stories (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, etc.), Carver works the same narrative magic in these poems. In everyday language he offers memories of his family and past loves, uses fishing and hunting events to portray his innermost thoughts about life and death. PW called these poems "accessible and lovely." Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review
"Over the years, Raymond Carver has been writing poetry alongside his fiction -- same of his earlier verse appeared in a recent anthology titled Fires -- and the most vigorous poems in this new collection function as distilled, heightened versions of his stories, offering us fugitive glimpses of ordinary lives on the edge." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York...


Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine: Stories
Thom Jones
0641508905

Paperback
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Ultramarine
Raymond Carver
0394755359
Oct 1987
Paperback
·
 
From Library Journal
Carver's poignant, soul-searching mini-narratives about deathinterspersed with descriptions of natural beautyare a test of relationships between parents and between lovers, a projection of a shattered family of man onto a screen before which the poet stands angry and amazed. "Attached/ to this world by nothing more than hope," the poet confronts each poem's episode of pain buoyed up by "the workings of comfort." His mind dwells on varieties of humiliationhaving his eardrum broken by a frozen snowball, working in an autopsy room where a man's "vital organs/lay in a pan beside his head," having earwigs crawl out of a rum cake. Yet he is resolved not to despair but to see these events as a part of "So much that is mysterious . . . happening out there." Frank Allen, Assoc. Dean, Continuing Education, Allentown Coll.,...


On Becoming a Novelist
John Gardner
0393320030
September 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
Picture the poor, young, serious-fiction writer. He toils alone at a pace not so different from that of Lincoln Tunnel traffic at rush hour in New York. His spouse has a "real" job, or perhaps he has a trust fund. His college friends are cashing in on their dot-coms and wondering if he's ever going to join the real world. He is not hell-bent on publication; he is trying to write "serious, honest fiction, the kind of novel that readers will find they enjoy reading more than once, the kind of fiction likely to survive." He's likely to have no idea whether he's succeeding. Nobody understands him.

Well, almost nobody. John Gardner understands him. Gardner's sympathetic On Becoming a Novelist is the novelist's ultimate comfort food--better than macaroni and cheese, better than chocolate. Gardner, a fiction writer himself...



The Carver Chronotope
P. Bhatt
0415966337
June 2003
Hardcover
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Book Description
Arguing that, despite having worked primarily in "minor" genres, Raymond Carver merits consideration as a major American writer, The Carver Chronotypen reveals Carver's pivotal role in American minimalist fiction. It contextualizes Carver's work in terms of the time and place of its construction and represention to reveal it as fiction that transcends the lower middle class North American relity that it documents.


American Short Story Masterpieces
Raymond Carver
0440204232
Apr 1989
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In the introduction to this collection, Carver mentions an earlier volume, Short Story Masterpieces published in 1954. The 36 tales here, he says, are distinguished by a similar narrative durability and stand up to the classic stories of that earlier generation. No argument. These unexperimental stories are substantial, solid and, to a paragraph, satisfying. By American writers exclusively (the earlier collection was one-third English and Irish), the offerings are arranged alphabetically by author, from James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" to "The Liar" by Tobias Wolff. Between is an assortment of modern classics: Doctorow's powerful and lyric story of betrayal, "Willi," Flannery O'Connor's chilling "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," Roth's "The Conversion of the Jews" and Arthur Miller's near-perfect "The Misfits." Other...


What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Raymond Carver
0679723056
June 1989
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
"What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" is not only the most well-known short story title of the latter part of the 20th century; it has come to stand for an entire aesthetic, the bare-bones prose style for which Raymond Carver became famous. Perhaps, it could be argued, too famous, at least for his fiction's own good. Like those of Hemingway or any other writer similarly loved, imitated, parodied, and reviled, these stories can sometimes produce the sense of reading pastiche. "A man without hands came to the door to sell me a photograph of my house." "That morning she pours Teacher's over my belly and licks it off. That afternoon she tries to jump out the window." "My friend Mel McGinnis was talking. Mel is a cardiologist, and sometimes that gives him the right." What other writer ever produced first sentences...


Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel
0743289463
May 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Hempel's four collections of short fiction are all masterful; while readers await the follow-up to last year's acclaimed The Dog of the Marriage, this compendium restores the full set to print. The first of Hempel's books, Reasons to Live (1985), is justly celebrated by Rick Moody in his preface as a landmark of its era's "short-story renaissance"; it introduces Hempel's unmistakable tone, where a "besieged consciousness," Moody says, hones sentences to bladelike sharpness "to enact and defend survival." The second, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990), is the main reason to buy this book: used copies are scarce, and the collection contains stories like "The Harvest." Hempel's genius, whether in first or third person, is to make her characters' feelings completely integral to the scenes...


Carver Country: The World of Raymond Carver
Bob Adelman (Photographer)
0641577907

Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
From the Publisher When Raymond Carver died in August of 1988, all too early at 50, he left behind a remarkable legacy - eleven books of short stories and poems - that clearly establishes him as one of the finest of American writers. Carver Country presents the stark but human reality of one man's world, a man who was generous in his spirit and in his gifts, and who rose above his beginnings - but Raymond Carver never left his native ground or gave up his love for its terrain and its people. Raymond Carver's gritty texts, including his poems, short stories and unpublished letters, combined with Bob Adelman's photographs of Carver's people and haunts, re-create the world of this major writer, bringing to life the bleak, blue-collar towns, people, and places that became the inspiration for much of his work. Includes 113...


Fires
Raymond Carver
0679722394
June 1989
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
"You should read Fires now. These stories and poems...show the enormous talent of Raymond Carver beginning to take hold."

-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Seminal in Carver studies...A disparate collection of work bound by a unity of vision and obsession."

-- Los Angeles Herald Examiner

"Carver's most revealing book...This collection confirms the worth of Raymond Carver's work...Like bright birds in distant trees, Carver's stories appear in flashes, glimpses; Fires reveals the arc of his purposeful flight."

-- Boston Globe

From the Inside Flap
"You should read Fires now. These stories and poems...show the enormous talent of Raymond Carver beginning to take hold."-- San Francisco Chronicle"Seminal in Carver studies...A...

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