raymond carver

Home Alone by Raymond Carver


I was standing in front of the living room window, my reflection half transparent, drinking a gin and tonic. My family had left me alone for the holidays; I just didn’t feel up for the motions and devotions necessary to complete the season. That was the thing with years: there were always more. My face through the window seemed lakelike; each squint, as I tried to make myself out, a little ripple moving outwards towards the world at large. The failed hail of snow had fallen. Two men knocked on the door and I started to run away.

That was mine, yah, sorry. Now it’s your turn to give it a go in the comments section — nothing too long, just a couple of sentences. Others are welcome to critique entrees; why is it or isn’t it Carver? Let’s try to find out what it was he* did, and how he* did it. (*Yah, Lish, I know.) For me, Carver is romantic without being romantic. It’s reticent emotional hyperbole, which is like, uh, really difficult. Good luck!

Author Spotlight & Craft Notes / 10 Comments
August 4th, 2009 / 7:24 pm

Haut or Not: A couplet

Alicia Gifford

Folks, here’s sneak (albeit pixelated) look at what the fiction editor of Night Train reads. Tempted as I was to ask her to resend a higher resolution pic, I thought about the ‘visual vocabulary of spines,’ how we’ve come to recognize a book by its design — how the spine often acts as an abbreviated version of the cover, in terms of color, fonts, etc. The title’s legibility is often not as important as the spine’s thematic composition. Yes, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge how sauve the publisher is; and the publisher hires the editor that judges the book — so in the end it’s related. Matthew Simmons, who works at a bookstore, has a knack for pointing out books. So, what do you see?



Haut or not / 73 Comments
March 18th, 2009 / 12:41 pm

My Favorite MishMash of Stories

The short story is my favorite form. I am feeling very blocked on this other stuff I’ve been working on (which means, anxious and not up to the task I set out for myself) so instead, I am going to write this sort of lame ass  post. I was perusing my bookshelves (which made me break out in a rash, I am allergic to dust) to make a nice goody bag for Larry–who won the “which 80s punk bands album titles” contest in the Ever review by my man– and I found this collection of stories and felt all warm inside. (It’s super, SUPER beat-up, Larry, that is why I did not send it to you.) Man, what a great collection.  All sorts of stuff.  Raymond Carver edited it with Tom Jenks (of Narrative Magazine, which we all know is not a favorite around here, but believe me, this collection rocks). Here are some (just some) of the authors and stories: READ MORE >

Uncategorized / 34 Comments
February 10th, 2009 / 8:00 pm