A New Path to the Waterfall by Raymond Carver

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Raymond Carver completed A New Path To The Waterfall shortly before his death. This last collection bears witness to a writer confronting, at the peak of his powers, harder and harder questions.

About Raymond Carver

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Born in 1938 in an Oregon logging town, Raymond Carver grew up in Yakima, From California he went to Iowa to attend the Iowa Writers Workshop. Soon, however, he returned to California, where he worked at a number of unskilled jobs before obtaining a teaching position. Widely acclaimed as the most important short story writer of his generation, Carver writes about the kind of lower-middle-class people whom he knew growing up. His characters are waitresses, mechanics, postmen, high school teachers, factory workers, door-to-door salesmen who lead drab lives because of limited funds. Critics have said that may have the most distinctive vision of the working class. Nominated posthumously for both a National Book Critics Circle Award (1988) and a Pulitzer Prize (1989) for Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories (1988), Carver is one of a handful of writers credited with reviving the short story form. Some have put Carver in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway and Stephen Crane. Carver's stories tend to be brief, with enigmatic endings, although never erupting. Violence is often just below the surface. An air of quiet desperation pervades his stories, as Carver explores the collapse of human relationships in bleak circumstances. In later works, Carver strikes a note of redemption, unheard at the beginning of his career. But for readers who are not attuned to Carver's voice of resignation, these moments may sound sentimental and unconvincing. Carver died of lung cancer in 1988.
Published January 1, 1989 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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``Many of them are luminous flashes, poised and tender meditations, while others read like cathartic, unresolved statements by a man struggling to come to terms with his life in the little remaining time allotted to him,'' found PW.

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London Review of Books

Most books offered as poetry never leave the condition of prose – which is not to say they are good prose.

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The New York Review of Books

Tony Judt (1948–2010) was the founder and director of the Remarque Institute at NYU and the author of Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, Ill Fares the Land, and The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron, and the French Twentieth Century, among other books.

Aug 12 1999 | Read Full Review of A New Path to the Waterfall

The New York Review of Books

Scott is a film critic at The New York Times and the former Sunday book critic for Newsday.

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