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About Raymond Carver
Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience. This was the year in which he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage. In 1977 he met the writer Tess Gallagher, with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral and Elephant. Fires, a collection of essays, poems and stories, appeared in 1985, followed by three further collections of poetry. In 1988 he completed the poetry collection A New Path to the Waterfall.
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Raymond Carver’s third collection of stories, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, including the canonical titular story about blindness and learning to enter the very different world of another. These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver’s work and “overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life. . . . Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty. . . . his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart” (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World).
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 Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and earlier Carver volumes, along with seven new works previously unpublished in book form.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.
With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.
"[Carver's stories] can ... be counted among the masterpieces of American Literature." --The New York Times Book Review
"One of the great short story writers of our time--of any time." --The Philadelhpia Inquirer
"The whole collection is a knock out. Few wriers can match Raymond Carver's entiwining style and language." --The Dallas Morning News
Text established by William L. Stull and Maureen P. Carroll
This complete edition brings together all the poems of Carver’s five previous books, from Fires to the posthumously published No Heroics, Please. It also contains bibliographical and textual notes on individual poems; a chronology of Carver’s life and work; and a moving introduction by Carver’s widow, the poet Tess Gallagher.
Se ha afirmado que el relato es la forma narrativa por excelencia en la literatura norteamericana actual y que Raymond Carver es el maestro indiscutible de este registro. En cada relato de Catedral se revela la presencia latente o la intrusión de "terrores extraordinarios en una existencia ordinaria" (Cathleen Medwick). El propio Carver ha escrito: "Pienso que es bueno que en un relato haya un leve aire de amenaza... Debe haber tensión, una sensación de que algo es inminente." Sus personajes son gente de lo más comun: trabajadores manuales, empleaduchos, parados, parejas a la deriva..., desamparados, golpeados por la vida, muchos de ellos bebedores, acceden, a pesar suyo, a una suerte de dimensión heroica, tercos testimonios de una realidad implacable. Su estilo es escueto, lacónico, opera por sustracción; se ha dicho que Carver inaugura una nueva visión, un nuevo método, una nueva tonalidad. "Una de las voces más originales que han aparecido en la narrativa norteamericana desde hace años" (Bill Buford, Times Literary Supplement).
Los deslumbrados lectores de "Catedral", primer libro publicado en España de Carver, reencontrarán en "De qué hablamos cuando hablamos de amor" la atmósfera y los personajes de un autor que dominó indiscutiblemente el panorama literario norteamericano de los años 80. Parejas que se despedazan, compañeros que parten desesperadamente a la aventura, hijos que intentan comunicarse con sus padres, un universo injusto, violento, tenso, a veces irrisorio... En palabras de Roberto Fernández Sastre, Carver «no designa lo intolerable, sino que lo nombra. Sin concesiones hacia nada ni hacia nadie, rescata lo real en su esencialidad amorfa y brutal».
Call If You Need Me includes all of the prose previously collected in No Heroics, Please, four essays from Fires, and those five marvelous stories that range over the period of Carver’s mature writing and give his devoted readers a final glimpse of the great writer at work. The pure pleasure of Carver’s writing is everywhere in his work, here no less than in those stories that have already entered the canon of modern literature.
Winner of Poetry Magazine’s Levinson Prize, an illuminating collection from the middle of his career, Raymond Carver’s poems “function as distilled, heightened versions of his stories, offering us fugitive glimpses of ordinary lives on the edge” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).