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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Raymond Carver

One of my all-time favorite authors, Stephen King, wrote an insightful and thoughtful review of Carol Sklenicka’s Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life for the New York Times last week and I thought I would share it with y'all if you didn't read it already. Raymond Carver was an incredible short story writer who was credited with helping revitalize the short story as a popular medium. This article is a multi-leveled treat because not only is it an engaging piece about what sounds like a great biography about a great author, but it also is a pretty interesting peek into the potentially toxic relationship an over-eager author can have with a domineering editor*. Much is made about the importance of a good editor on the success of a good writer (think about a really interesting bush that just needs the right gardener to prune the bush into something of superlative beauty) but there has been much less written about the opposite, the editor who abuses their relative position of authority to bully the writer into becoming a creature of the editor's creation. In this article King uses the review of Sklenicka's book to launch into just such an investigation. Well worth the read.

To read the article click here.

*As well as it is an excuse to read about 4000 words of Stephen King's prose. I am convinced that, even if his originality is beginning to dry up a bit, King gets wiser, more incisive, and downright wittier as he turns into an old prune. For more hilarity from Uncle Stevie check out his series of random columns he writes for Entertainment Weekly.