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According to his biography (Liukkonen), Raymond Carver was born in 1938 in Oregon. His father, a sawmill worker, was an alcoholic, and although his father shaped him by the stories he told, Carver found it difficult to deal with his father's alcoholism. He attended school in Yakima, California, and married his 16-year old high school sweetheart, MaryAnn, who was pregnant with their daughter…
When the family moved to California, Carver became interested in writing and took a course from John Gardner, which had a profound effect on him. He continued his studies at Chico State University, Humboldt State College, and the University of Iowa. He earned a BA in 1963. He became a textbook editor at Science Research Associates, Palo Alto, but was fired in 1970. He went on to teach at universities throughout the United States and from 1980-1983 was a professor of English at Syracuse University.
While Carver was at Humboldt, he wrote his first story, "Pastoral," as well as his first poem, "The Brass Ring." Although his biography states he started his writing career as a poet, he confessed he was never a "born" poet (Liukkonen) and although he eventually had his poetry published, it never received the acclaim of his short stories. His story "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please" was written in 1967 and with the editing expertise of Gordon Lish, he published a collection of stories of the same name set in Eureka, California in 1976 (Boddy). During the ensuing years, alcohol was a problem for him and drinking became a full-time pursuit. In fact, alcohol became a subject in several of his stories. ...
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