Books: More from a Master

Five previously unpublished short stories by the late Raymond Carver attest to his lasting genius

Raymond Carver was only 50 when he died, in 1988, of lung cancer. Those who knew him personally mourned, and continue to mourn, the loss of a warm and generous friend, a man whose hard early life--periods of dead-end jobs and poverty, severe alcoholism--had somehow made him gentle. Readers aware of him only from his books have missed him too, for Carver had, during the 12 years preceding his death, virtually reinvented the American short story.

His acclaim stemmed from four collections: Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1976); What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981); Cathedral (1983);...

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