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Shortly before he died, America's laureate of the dispossessed made his own choice of his short stories, revised the texts and published them in this authorative edition. The stories in Where I'm Calling from are selected from the full range of the author's work including Furious Seasons, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, and Cathedral and include all seven stories from his last collection, Elephant. Where I'm Calling from, with the author's original introduction, is the essential Raymond Carver story collection.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781860460395
ISBN-10: 1860460399
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x 32mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: The Harvill Press
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1993
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Carver's shrewd new publisher here repackages 30 stories - a few with new titles - from his four collections, and includes seven uncollected pieces, one of which has never seen print. This selection spans 25 years and provides the perfect opportunity to assess an acclaimed career. For the most part, Carver's seven new pieces add little to his inflated reputation. The trite imagery, the deliberately stale language, and the unintentional bathos - all the elements of Carver's common-man pose - continue to generate tales of failure and false promise, a neo-proletarian rhetoric of victimization and survival. His male narrators often wallow in self-pity, and their problems usually concern women. In "Boxes," a divorced man's mother - herself a lonely widow - moves nearby, making his life miserable with her constant complaining, though her packing up to move again only makes him feel worse. Another story with a single dominant, hard image - "Menudo" - is about "a middle-aged man involved with his neighbor's wife," a state of affairs that forces him to realize his failures with women: his mother, his ex-wife, his present wife. "Intimacy" elaborates on this theme for, here, the narrator shows up unannounced at his ex-wife's house where the shrew harangues him about the past - a past he's already exploited in his "work." More Roth-like reflections on success underpin "Elephant," in which the narrator complains about all those who rely on him for money - his "greedy" mother, his hapless brother, his former wife, his son in college, his white-trashy daughter with children. While this tiresome tale ends with a sloppily sentimental affirmation, "Whoever Was Using This Bed" finds no such hope for the husband and wife who obsess about "death and annihilation," and their bad health and habits. The only surprise in this volume is the final story - a fictional re-creation of Chekhov's death, based largely on memoirs, that's quite unlike any of Carver's previous work, and may signal a new stage in his development, away from the cliches of contemporary rootlessness. Regardless of Carver's actual achievement, his spare and simple style has set the tone for a generation of story writers, so that this. ample volume serves as the best introduction to what's happening in contemporary short fiction. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon in, 1938 and grew up in Yakima, Washington State. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family, although he did manage to attend John Gardner's creative writing course at Chico State College. During this period he worked as a hospital porter, a textbook editor, a dictionary salesman, a petrol station attendant and a deliveryman. These experiences and his own increasingly desperate domestic circumstances were frequently the subject of his poetry and fiction. Although he published a number of small-press books of poetry and one chapbook of fiction in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was not until the appearance of Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience,. The following year his luck began to change: he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage, and in the same year met the poet Tess Gallagher with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. He began to write again and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979 and the prestigous Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award in 1983. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories ( What We Talk about When We Talk About Love, Cathedral and the new stories - published in Britain under the title Elephant - in the present volume), three collections of poetry ( Where Water Comes together with other Water and Ultramarine - a selection of which appeared in Britain as In a Marine Light: Selected Poems - and a New Path to the Waterfall), and a collection of stories, essays and poems (Fires). In the last year of his life he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died on 2 August 1988. His uncollected writings, No Heroics, Please, were published in 1991, and his uncollected poems, All Of Us in 1996.

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