The Life of Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver has been credited with reviving the art of short stories. He is known for stories such as Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and Will You Please Be Quiet? Please. His short stories are one of a kind and captures the essence day to day life. Today, let’s take a look at the life of Raymond Carver.

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Orgeon on May 25th, 1938. Carver was married right after high school and was a father to two children before he even turned 20. In order to support his family, Carver worked a variety of jobs. Including a gas-station attendant, delivery man, and a janitor.

In 1958, Carver took a creative writing course at Chico State College, which helped inspire his true passion. After taking this class, Carver’s short stories started to pop up in various magazines. Despite being published in a few magazines, Carver’s first big break happened in 1967 when his short story Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? was published. This critically acclaimed story put Carver and his work on the map.

In 1970, Carver lost his job. Shortly after, he began working as a textbook editor. In the late 60’s Carver began a slow descent into alcoholism. In 1967, Carver was actually hospitalized after and excessive amount of drinking. By 1970, Carver had tackled his alcohol problems and began teaching at the University of Texas. Over the years, Carver continued to write short stories. Luckily for Carver, his hard work eventually paid off. In 1983, he won an award for his outstanding writing. This award allowed Carver to stop working and pursue his passion full time.

Carver continued to write and his success just continued to grow. He even had one of his short stories featured in “The Best American Short Stories of The Century,” which was considered an amazing accomplishment. Carver and his second wife, Tess Gallagher, were married in 1988. However, tragedy struck the happy couple very shortly after. Only six weeks had gone by when Raymond Carver died of lung cancer. Raymond Carver was only fifty years old at the time.

Although Raymond Carver’s life ended abruptly, he won’t be forgotten. Raymond Carver had a way with portraying the lives of ‘everyday people.’ His blunt and terse words made him famous and for that, we will always remember him.