Short stories by Raymond Carver

Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. He married at 19, started a series of menial jobs and his own career of 'full-time drinking as a serious pursuit', a career that would eventually kill him. Constantly struggling to support his wife and family, Carver enrolled in a writing programme under author John Gardner in 1958. He saw this opportunity as a turning point.

Rejecting the more experimental fiction of the 60s and 70s, he pioneered a precisionist realism reinventing the American short story during the eighties, heading the line of so-called 'dirty realists' or 'K-mart realists'. Set in trailer parks and shopping malls, they are stories of banal lives that turn on a seemingly insignificant detail. Carver writes with meticulous economy, suddenly bringing a life into focus in a similar way to the paintings of Edward Hopper. As well as being a master of the short story, he was an accomplished poet publishing several highly acclaimed volumes.

After the 'line of demarcation' in Carver's life - 2 June 1977, the day he stopped drinking - his stories become increasingly more redemptive and expansive. Alcohol had eventually shattered his health, his work and his family - his first marriage effectively ending in 1978. He finally married his long-term parter Tess Gallagher (they met ten years earlier at a writers' conference in Dallas) in Reno, Nevada, less than two months before he eventually lost his fight with cancer. 

Listing 8 stories.

After his unhappy mother announces she will move homes once again, he and his girlfriend visit her one last time.

Dan and Nancy spend the summer in a remote town Northern California to rekindle their marriage after they discover each other's infidelity, but below the surface, they both know their efforts are in vain.

A wary husband reluctantly allows an old, blind friend of his wife’s to visit their home, prompting an unlikely connection between the two men.

After Anton Chekhov's slow death from tuberculosis, his wife Olga sends a hotel-boy on an important errand to ensure that no attention is called to the death of the famous Russian playwright.

An man with nothing begins renting a room in the home of a couple in rural Washington. As he stays with them, the emptiness he feels begins to be filled.

A man experiencing writers' block finds inspiration on a spontaneous trip to the home of near-strangers.

Two men recovering from their alcoholism sit on a porch at a "drying out" facility. While one talks about his tumultuous marriage, the other begins to reframe his own wife and love affair.

After a man finds out his wife had cheated on him years before, he wanders through the night, looking for direction but only finding random conflicts.