What It Used to Be Like: A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver

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Macmillan, Jul 11, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages

Maryann Burk Carver met Raymond Carver in 1955, when she was fifteen years old and he was seventeen. In What It Used to Be Like, she recounts a tale of love at first sight in which two teenagers got to know each other by sharing a two-year long-distance correspondence that soon after found them married and with two small children.

Over the next twenty-five years, as Carver's fame grew, the family led a nomadic life, moving from school to school and teaching post to teaching post. In 1972, they settled in Cupertino, California, where Raymond Carver gave his wife one of his sharpened pencils and asked her to write an account of their history.

The result is a memoir of a marriage, replete with an intimacy of detail that fully reveals the talents and failings of this larger-than-life man, his complicated relationships, and his profound loves and losses. What It Used to Be Like brings to light for the first time Raymond Carver's lost years and the "stories behind the stories" of this brilliant writer.

 

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User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

Oh boy. Pretty bad and poorly written. Felt I was back in grade school. Even the bits about Lish (which is why I was looking at this in the first place) were somewhat lame. I actually hoped she would ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DRFP - LibraryThing

A disappointing book overall. It was certainly a tough life for the two of them but there's almost too much going on (the family are constantly on the move it seems) and I never felt there was time to ... Read full review

Contents

A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver 1960s
125
A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver 1970s
229
A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver 1980s
327
A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver Chronology Raymond Carver 193888
343
A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver Selected Works of Raymond Carver
349
A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver Index
351
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About the author (2006)

MARYANN BURK CARVER is a teacher living on Lummi Island in Washington State.

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