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“Raymond Carver”

Raymond Carver: A Writer's LifePerpetual outsider Raymond Carver became one of the most celebrated American short story writers of the 20th century, yet his characters never strayed far from his own life as a lower-middle class, nomadic dreamer. He died in 1988, and over the last few years, much has been made of the fact that his editor, Gordon Lish, heavily edited his stories. But there is more to the man than his work. In “Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life”, Carol Sklenicka delves into Carver’s life “with reverence, as if she were talking about an old drinking buddy (in fact, the two writers never met),” says Time Out New York. “Sklenicka treats with equal care every step of Carver’s fascinating, abbreviated life: his days as an overweight and sullen adolescent, his writing tutelage at the foot of novelist John Gardner, his aborted stay at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his controversial relationship with Esquire fiction editor Gordon Lish. . . and his lifelong—and ultimately victorious—battle with rampant alcoholism.” This might be a book best suited to Carver’s fans. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the biography “offers limited excerpts from his work” and thus “makes it hard for readers unfamiliar with his writing to see his appeal as an artist (or a person).”

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