Skip to main content

Carver, Raymond (1938-1988)

Carver, Raymond (1938-1988)

Raymond Carver's success derived as much from the renewed interest in the short story brought about by the publication of The Stories of John Cheever in 1978 and the backlash against 1960s metafiction as it did from Carver's own genius. Although considered one of the most recognizable and imitated stylists of his time, Carver was in fact one of a growing number of minimalists whose "dirty realism" came to be associated with (and for some demonstrated the shortcomings of) university writing workshops. What chiefly distinguished Carver's stories from the similarly laconic, uninflected, disquietingly detached, and paratactic work of others was his focusing on the marginal lives of generally working-class characters trying, and often failing, to make do. Carver's semi-autobiographical fiction offered an alternative not only to earlier reports of the deaths of author and character alike but to the pursuit of affluence and the extolling of the entrepreneurial spirit during the Reagan years. The triumph achieved in a number of Carver's later stories was more spiritual than material and even then carefully qualified.

—Robert A. Morace

Further Reading:

Meyer, Adam. Raymond Carver. New York, Twayne, 1994.

Salzman, Arthur M. Understanding Raymond Carver. Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1988.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Carver, Raymond (1938-1988)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . 20 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Carver, Raymond (1938-1988)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . (January 20, 2019).

"Carver, Raymond (1938-1988)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.