Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
Selected Stories

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I was left all too often thinking yes and what happens next even while the image created hung in my head.
-BookLore

Synopsis

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 imaginations of thousands of readers. Where I’m Calling From, his last collection, encompasses classic stories from CathedralWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and earlier Carver volumes, along with seven new works previously unpublished in book form. Together, these 37 stories give us a superb overview of Carver’s life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never equaled.

 

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 April 1, 1988 by Atlantic Monthly Pr. 393 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Where I'm Calling From
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Apr 15 2008

This ample volume serves as the best introduction to what's happening in contemporary short fiction.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul Skenazy on Jun 26 2008

These brief keyhole chats with gloom come about as close to a perfection of form as you can imagine--so convincing a mating of word, life, object, emotion and story length that you don't notice.

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Helium

Above average
Reviewed by Sharon O'Connell on Feb 03 2009

It is that irony mixed with humor that Carver uses that enables him to discuss such a morbid topic in an entertaining way.

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BookLore

Above average
Reviewed by John Alwyine-Mosely on Jul 31 2010

I was left all too often thinking yes and what happens next even while the image created hung in my head.

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Nnickledger

Good
Reviewed by Dan Long on Aug 10 2011

These are not new stories—this collection was published in 1988—but the characters and situations they find themselves in are fresh, teeming with a rare sense of hyper-relevance that fiction so often fumbles.

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