Raymond Carver (1938–1988)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch34

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Raymond Carver (1938–1988), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch34

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Raymond Carver (1938–1988), reputation in writing short stories - form imposed on him by economic necessity;
  • his stories, about blue-collar families - living lives of quiet despair or feeling emotions they can barely articulate or comprehend, feelings heightened, not deadened by alcohol;
  • Carver, recalling in his essay “John Gardner: The Writer as Teacher” - Gardner, helping to focus his reading, key to his faculty office to use at weekends;
  • Carver, graduating from Humboldt in 1963 - enrolled at the Iowa Writers' Workshop on a small scholarship;
  • the skill of “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” - in the way that Carver, illustrates gradual escalation of exchange between husband and wife;
  • Carver, staying with Science Research Associates - until 1970, a year's leave while working in Tel Aviv;
  • Carver's prominence, obtaining - a number of one-year visiting positions in writing programs;
  • success of Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? - in 1978, Carver winning a Guggenheim Fellowship, writer-in-residence at University of Texas, El Paso;
  • Carver, selling his first story to The New Yorker, “Chef's House” - frequent contributor to the magazine;
  • “Cathedral,” providing the title of his next collection, Cathedral (1983)


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography