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Raymond Carver
Clatskanie, Oregon, 25 May 1938 - Syracuse, New York, 2 Aug. 1988 American poet and short story writer

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Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. The son of a violent alcoholic, he married at nineteen, 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 program under author John Gardner in 1958 and he saw this as a turning point.
In the 1980s, rejecting the more experimental fiction of the 60s and 70s, Carver pioneered a precisionist realism. He reinvented the American short story, 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 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 partner Tess Gallagher (they had met ten years earlier at a writers' conference in Dallas) in Reno, less than two months before he eventually lost his fight with lung cancer.

A collection of short stories that includes 'Vitamins' and 'A Small Good Thing', which were used in Robert Altman's film, Short Cuts.
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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
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Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
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