Shortly before he died, America's laureate of the dispossessed made his own selection from his short stories, revised the texts and published them in this authorative edition.
The stories in Where I'm Calling From are selected from the full range of the author's work including Furious Seasons, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, and Cathedral and include all seven stories from his last collection, Elephant.
Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon in, 1938 and grew up in Yakima, Washington State. 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, although he did manage to attend John Gardner's creative writing course at Chico State College. During this period he worked as a hospital porter, a textbook editor, a dictionary salesman, a petrol station attendant and a deliveryman. These experiences and his own increasingly desperate domestic circumstances were frequently the subject of his poetry and fiction. Although he published a number of small-press books of poetry and one chapbook of fiction in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was not until the appearance of Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience,. The following year his luck began to change: he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage, and in the same year met the poet Tess Gallagher with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. He began to write again and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979 and the prestigous Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award in 1983. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories ( What We Talk about When We Talk About Love, Cathedral and the new stories - published in Britain under the title Elephant - in the present volume), three collections of poetry ( Where Water Comes together with other Water and Ultramarine - a selection of which appeared in Britain as In a Marine Light: Selected Poems - and a New Path to the Waterfall), and a collection of stories, essays and poems (Fires). In the last year of his life he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died on 2 August 1988. His uncollected writings, No Heroics, Please, were published in 1991, and his uncollected poems, All Of Us in 1996.