This week marks the anniversary of Raymond Carver's death. It's prompted me to revisit his collected stories. I always find that they resonate with me as strongly on re-reading them despite time and changes in my life. The stories look scathingly at moments of life. Transcending the ordinary and turning it into something unique and poignant. His stories examine the lives of the work class, waitresses, salesmen, the unemployed and the alcoholic in a way that shows a hidden depth. My favourite is 'What we talk about when we talk about love.' The stripped down conversation feels true to life. It moves from one topic to the next, and back again. You feel the characters move through subtle changes of mood. I also love 'Where I'm calling from' the story of an alcoholic attending rehab. It's melancholy, touching and reflective. You feel as though the characters are in status, as if they're taking a brief interlude from living. The final line is an attempt to reconnect too late. There is an unshakeable sensation that a happy ending is out of reach. I consider him (despite his editor played a crucial role in his success) to be one of the most essential writers for examining narrative form. I also believe he offers readers a crystal clear lens through which we can examine our own lives.
Who's your favourite short story writer?
Have you read Carver and what's you favourite story?
I'd love to hear your thoughts & recommendations for short reads!