Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 24, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 592 pages
3 Reviews
The first biography of america’s best-known short story writer of the late twentieth century.

The London Times called Raymond Carver "the American Chekhov." The beloved, mischievous, but more modest short-story writer and poet thought of himself as "a lucky man" whose renunciation of alcohol allowed him to live "ten years longer than I or anyone expected."

In that last decade, Carver became the leading figure in a resurgence of the short story. Readers embraced his precise, sad, often funny and poignant tales of ordinary people and their troubles: poverty, drunkenness, embittered marriages, difficulties brought on by neglect rather than intent. Since Carver died in 1988 at age fifty, his legacy has been mythologized by admirers and tainted by controversy over a zealous editor’s shaping of his first two story collections.

Carol Sklenicka penetrates the myths and controversies. Her decade-long search of archives across the United States and her extensive interviews with Carver’s relatives, friends, and colleagues have enabled her to write the definitive story of the iconic literary figure. Laced with the voices of people who knew Carver intimately, her biography offers a fresh appreciation of his work and an unbiased, vivid portrait of the writer.

 

 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jphamilton - LibraryThing

This biography was written twenty years after this renowned "Chekhov of middle America" (as some have called him) died at age fifty. And, I waited a couple, three years, after buying the hardback to ... Read full review

RAYMOND CARVER: A Writer's Life

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A rich portrait of a master of the American short story.The life of Raymond Carver (1938-1988) hews closely to a heroic arc: a hardscrabble childhood, a noble struggle for success, a fall from grace ... Read full review

Contents

11
6
14
7
BEGINNINGS
8
Raymond Junior
9
Yakima Valley
10
Vocation
21
Cigarettes Beer Jazz
34
Crazy in Love
43
Separation
323
Beginning Again
336
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
352
Fires
376
Cathedral
397
Where Water Comes Together with Other Water
413
Ultramarine
432
Where Im Calling From
447

Furious Years
60
A Story of He and
74
The Athens of the Midwest
87
SEARCH
107
Grinding and Sharpening
109
Were Those Actual Miles?
122
Luck
137
Reading Mark Twain in Tel Aviv
153
The Sixties
166
A Friend in New York
179
SUCCESS AND DISCONTENT
199
A Story in Esquire
201
The Illusion of Freedom
218
Astounding and Amazing Times
233
Drowning
250
Will You Please Be Quiet Please?
268
Celebrated and Homeless
293
Sobriety
311
A New Path to the Waterfall
460
Epilogue
479
Acknowledgments and Sources
491
Notes on Sources
501
43
532
60
534
74
537
87
539
Insert Photograph Credits
549
Index
551
109
552
122
554
179
556
218
561
233
564
250
565
268
568
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Carol Sklenicka grew up in central California during the 1960s. She attended college in San Luis Obispo and taught high school in Oxnard before completing a Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis. She has published short stories, essays, and a study of D. H. Lawrence. She lives with her husband, poet R.M. Ryan, near the Russian River in California.
 

 

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