Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories

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9780394722993: Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories

Fires is the best introduction to the full range and humanity of Carver's writing. It contains four essays, including a moving memoir od his father's working life in the saw-mills of the Pacific Northwest, a tribute to his mentor John Gardner, and the title essay about the influences on his writing life; fifty poems, many of them not collected elsewhere; and seven stories, including three from the early collection Furious Seasons.

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About the Author:

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first short stories appeared in Esquire during Gordon Lish's tenure as fiction editor in the 1970s. Carver's work began to reach a wider audience with the 1976 publication of Will You Please be Quiet, Please, but it was not until the 1981 publication of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love under Gordon Lish, then at Knopf, that he began to achieve real literary fame. This collection was edited by more than 40 per cent before publication, and Carver dedicated it to his fellow writer and future wife, Tess Gallagher, with the promise that he would one day republish his stories at full length. He went on to write two more collections of stories, Cathedral and Elephant, which moved away from the earlier minimalist style into a new expansiveness, as well as several collections of poetry. He died in 1988, aged fifty.

Review:

"Carver is a master; his stories are word perfect. His sentences stalk out meaning, following a trail of clues with patient care and painful anticipation. Fires [is] an indispensable volume and provides further proof of Carver's stature as a major American writer" * New Statesman * "These stories are perfect in pitch and tone. However harrowing their subject, or broken their characters, all of them revive one's faith in the redemptive power of straight story-telling" -- Bruce Chatwin "Carver's poetry is non-metrical, free as prose... It works well and reads beautifully" * Independent *

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Carver, Raymond
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