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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories Paperback – June 18, 1989
Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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Yet these stories bear careful re-reading, like any truly important and enduring work. For one thing, Carver is one of the few writers who can make desperation--cutting your ex-wife's telephone cord in the middle of a conversation, standing on your own roof chunking rocks while a man with no hands takes your picture--deeply funny. Then there is the sheer craft that went into their creation. Despite their seeming simplicity, his tales are as artfully constructed as poems--and like poems, the best of them can make your breath catch in your throat. In the title piece, for instance, after the gin has been drunk, after the stories have been told, after the tensions in the room have come to the surface and subsided again, there comes a moment of strange lightness and peace: "I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark."
Much of what happens in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) happens offstage, and we're left with tragedy's props: booze, instant coffee, furniture from a failed marriage, cigarettes smoked in the middle of the night. This is not merely a matter of technique. Carver leaves out a great deal, but that's only a measure of his characters' vulnerability, the nerve endings his stories lay bare. To say anything more, one feels, would simply hurt too much. --Mary Park
"Raymond Carver's America is...clouded by pain and the loss of dreams, but it is not as fragile as it looks. It is a place of survivors and a place of stories.... [Carver] has done what many of the most gifted writers fail to do: He has invented a country of his own, like no other except that very world, as Wordsworth said, which is the world to all of us." —Michael Wood, front page, The New York Times Book Review
"Splendid.... The collection as a whole, unlike most, begins to grow and resonate in a wonderful cumulative effect." —Tim O'Brien, Chicago Tribune Book World
"Carver not only enchants, he convinces." —J.D. Reed, Time
Top Customer Reviews
Some of these stories don't feel finished though. They stand merely as slices of life. ONE of them definitely isn't finished: the story, "The Bath," would later be expanded into one of his most famous stories - "A Small, Good Thing."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So many great stories. A collection of meaningful short tales that pull at the heart strings. Would recommend. My favorite is the short story with the title of the book.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
RC can expertly chisel out the characters that we hope we are Not but probably are. Many stories reflect on some celebration of alcohol as truth seeker rather than the traditional... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pam and Ralph Melbourne
The good news is it’s a short read. Overrated is the first word that comes to mind. The argument could be made that these aren’t even short stories; they’re extended poems, almost... Read morePublished 2 months ago by garrett phillips
I felt it was not plummeting or daring enough or scholarly enough. Speech about love is not as important as what we do when we love another.Published 2 months ago by G Kossow