Raymond Carver

Beginners
  • Beginners

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is Carver's most famous collection of short stories and remians one of the most influential pieces of modern literature to date. But the original, unedited manuscript, Beginners – published here for the first time, was almost fifty per cent longer than the published collection. This restored version of Carver's stories reveals what was previously unsaid, filling in the narrative silences that have both inspired and mystified readers for so long.

    Beginners is a fascinating insight into the aesthetic of a literary great and, in the questions it raises, may just spark off one of the great cultural debates of our times.

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.