A New Path to the Waterfall

Overview

Raymond Carver, author of Where I'm Calling From, is widely considered one of the great short story writers of our time. A New Path to the Waterfall was Carver's last book, and shows a writer telling the truth as best as he knows how in the time left to him. The sixty-odd poems in this collection are linked by Carver with selections from other writers, most notably Chekhov, whose work was an inspiration and a guide, and by the cumulative force of the life and death questions he poses in them. As Rilke's Letters ...

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Overview

Raymond Carver, author of Where I'm Calling From, is widely considered one of the great short story writers of our time. A New Path to the Waterfall was Carver's last book, and shows a writer telling the truth as best as he knows how in the time left to him. The sixty-odd poems in this collection are linked by Carver with selections from other writers, most notably Chekhov, whose work was an inspiration and a guide, and by the cumulative force of the life and death questions he poses in them. As Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet guided countless readers discovering their true love and work, Carver's book will guide those in the process of celebrating a limited life and mourning the inescapable end of it. A New Path to the Waterfall is an essential book for those who admire Carver's work, and testament to the transcendent strength of the human spirit. In her introductory essay, Tess Gallagher, Carver's companion and fellow writer, lays out the circumstances of their last years together with matter-of-fact grace.

Finished shortly before his death in August 1988, "Carver's book is an admirable coda and a re-invitation to read his fiction." The Wall Street Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
Where I'm Calling From is the closest thing to definitive Carver.
Bloomsbury Review
Daring, dangerous work....In the end, the measure of A New Path to the Waterfall is that of Carver himself, of his courage, his grace. It is a personal triumph, an invigorating book, one that transcends death.
Chicago Tribune
The stories streamline and order and heighten experience in such a way that makes everyday life look both chaotic and relatively benign, and so, in its way, Carver's fiction reassures. Set next to standard-issue American heroes, these characters may be jerks, losers, flops, sad-sacks, bums and chumps, but within each is a spark of caring. This human quality impels us into the center of every Carver story.
Cleveland Plain-Dealer
Powerful, evocative....A good representaion of a modern master. If you're going to own one book by Carver, this should be it.
John Lahr
A New Path to the Waterfall is a great writer's last gift to the world, and it is gorgeous...The unrelenting gaze of Carver's clinical eye gives his witness to American life the eerie, rueful vividness of a Hopper painting. In this stillness words seem to resonate. -- The Listener
NY Times Book Review
Among the masterpieces of American Fiction.
San Francisco Chronicle
A unique book....These agonizingly naked, direct last verses address the most universal of all themes, the inexorable encroachment of mortality.
Wall Street Journal
Like all strong writers Raymond Carver wrote as if he had the whole of European and American culture in his bones....Carver's last book is an admirable coda...extremely attractive, accessible and moving.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The cool streamlined style of this modern master of the short story has spawned dozens of younger writers who seek to follow in Carver's footsteps. But where the Brat Pack frequently produces flat, unresonating fiction, Carver has the ability to render graceful prose from dreary, commonplace, scraping-the-bottom human misery. This collection consists of 30 stories selected from four previous volumes, and seven new tales. Appearing in order of original publication, they reflect Carver's developmentfrom 1963 to the present. We meet many of his characters just as something dear to them is slipping away. Jobs, cars, the affection of a spouse or child, the routine of lifeall can be lost. Even in the more upbeat stories, a narrator recalls a happy occasion that, in retrospect, marked a change for the worse, or a high point in a life since gone sour. In Carver's world, ashtrays overflow, wives are usually ex-, and drinkers are drunks. Seedy and dishonest characters are glimpsed in the process of once again doing the wrong thing. One of the new stories, ``The Errand,'' which is in part an account of Chekhov's death, is offered as a tip of the hat to the great short story writer. Even here, with more affecting and finished prose than ever before, Carver's rendering gives us all the intimacy of a medical chart. Aptly named, he is a carver of flesh from the bone. Paperback rights to Vintage. (May)
Library Journal
Carver is arguably the most important American short story writer since Ernest Hemingway, and like Hemingway he is the master of a much-imitated style: spare and flat, yet powerfully implying much more than it says. His stories deal with people whose lives are coming apart and with the illusions to which they cling for self-respect; many have the emotional impact of overheard confessions. This aptly titled collection contains eight new stories written since the publication of the much praised Cathedral , plus 30 stories selected by Carver from his other books. Together they chart Carver's literary development as he takes us to frontiers of desperation where dreams turn to dread. No fiction collection should be without this book. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871133748
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 126
  • Sales rank: 980,663
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.43 (d)

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