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Where I'm Calling from: New and Selected Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)by Raymond Carver
Synopses & Reviews
By the time of his early death in 1988, Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the great practitioners of the American short story, a writer who had not only found his own voice but imprinted it in the imagination of thousands of readers.
The Philadelphia Inquirer calls Raymond Carver "one of the great short story writers of our time-of any time" and the New York Times Book Review says his stories "can already be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction." Where I'm Calling From contains thirty-seven of his best works and reflects Carver's development as a writer over a period of more than two decades.
In his introduction to this selection, Carver noted V. S. Pritchett's definition of a short story as "something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing." Carver elaborated: "First the glimpse. The glimpse given life, turned into something that will illuminate the moment and just maybe lock it indelibly into the reader's consciousness. Make it a part of the reader's own experience, as Hemingway so nicely put it. Forever, the writer hopes. Forever." This essential work shows beyond all doubt that Carver's hope has been triumphantly fulfilled.
"What happens most powerfully and often...is the imagining by one character of another character's life....We finally see in it the point made by Henry James, that beauty is the form of address made by the world to the human soul." New York Times Books of the Century
"[Carver's stories] can...be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction." Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review
"The stories streamline and order and heighten experience in a way that makes everyday life look both chaotic and relatively benign, and so, in its way, Carver's fiction reassures. Set next to standard-issue American heroes, these characters may be jerks, losers, flops, sad-sacks, bums and chumps, but within each is a spark of caring. This human quality impels us into the center of every Carver story." Chicago Tribune
"Where I'm Calling From is the closest thing to definitive Carver." Baltimore Sun
"Powerful, evocative....A good representaion of a modern master. If you're going to own one book by Carver, this should be it." Cleveland Plain-Dealer
"Considered as an extended work, the book summarizes Carver's writing career and testifies to a literary achievement equaled only by the very best of modern American story writers — Hemingway, Welty, Salinger, Cheever....Where he is calling from is the innermost region of the heart." San Francisco Chronicle
"The great gift of this realist (no minimalist he) is the beauty of his best stories, in which a sort of bafflement is the buffer against very ordinary lives." The New York Times
"Where I'm Calling From is the closest thing to definitive Carver." The Baltimore Sun
"The stories streamline and order and heighten experience in such a way that makes everyday life look both chaotic and relatively benign, and so, in its way, Carver's fiction reassures. Set next to standard-issue American heroes, these characters may be jerks, losers, flops, sad-sacks, bums and chumps, but within each is a spark of caring. This human quality impels us into the center of every Carver story." Chicago Tribune
"Powerful, evocative....A good representation of a modern master. If you're going to own one book by Carver, this should be it." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"[These stories] overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life....Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty, his eye set on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart." The Washington Post Book World
"Astonishing achievements, which bespeak a writer expanding his range and intentions." The Boston Globe
"Written in the simplest of styles, mirroring the language of everyday, his stories possess an awesome, mesmerizing power. Out of the moments when good luck runs out, Carver makes the highest art." Newsday
A major collection of Carver's short stories, including seven new stories written shortly before the author's death in 1988.
About the Author
Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first collection of stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please (a National Book Award nominee in 1977), was followed by What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1984), and Where I'm Calling From in 1988, when he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in August of that year, shortly after completing the poems of A New Path to the Waterfall.
Table of Contents
Nobody said anything — Bicycles, muscles, cigarettes — The student's wife — They're not your husband — What do you do in San Francisco? — Fat — What's in Alaska? — Neighbors — Put yourself in my shoes — Collectors — Why, honey? — Are these actual miles? — Gazebo — One more thing — Little things — Why don't you dance? — A serious talk — What we talk about when we talk about love — Distance — The third thing that killed my father off — So much water so close to home — The calm — Vitamins — Careful — Where I'm calling from — Chef's house — Fever — Feathers — Cathedral — A small, good thing — Boxes — Whoever was using this bed — Intimacy — Menudo — Elephant — Blackbird pie — Errand.
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