Where I'm Calling from: Selected Stories

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9780871137210: Where I'm Calling from: Selected Stories

The last collection published during Carver's life, "Where I'm Calling From" contains 37 of his best stories and reflects his development as a writer over a period of more than two decades.

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Review:

The last story collection published during Carver's life (he died in 1988) contains most of his greatest hits from his earlier books, as well as seven stories that hadn't been collected up to that point. The breadth of the collection makes these 37 stories an extremely complete map of Carver territory, of a particular area of America and of the specific texture of the people Carver writes about -- their difficult attempts at survival in a world where happiness does not arrive wrapped up in neat packages but comes in far more peculiar parcels, if it comes at all.

From the Back Cover:

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.

"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

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Carver, Raymond
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