> Skip to content

The short story that inspired the play at the heart of BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton, Ed Norton and Emma Stone

This powerful collection of stories, set in the mid-West among the lonely men and women who drink, fish and play cards to ease the passing of time, was the first by Raymond Carver to be published in the UK. With its spare, colloquial narration and razor-sharp sense of how people really communicate, the collection was to become one of the most influential literary works of the 1980s.


The master craftsman of the modern American short story

Daily Telegraph

One of America's most original, truest voices

Salman Rushdie

One of the most celebrated American short-story writers of the 20th century

New York Times

A remarkable collection

New York Review of Books

I remember being floored by the first Raymond Carver collection I read: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

David Sedaris, New York Times

Raymond Carver's stories can now be counted amongst the masterpieces of American fiction

New York Times

These brilliant shards - some no more than three or four pages long - confirm Carver's place in the hall of America's great writers and suggest that, with his hero Chekhov, he was one of the world's masters of the short story

Times Literary Supplement

Raymond Carver uses the English language like a whittler's knife, carving stark and unadorned prose-objects, paring away everything but the very core of human emotion

Chicago Tribune

Read More

Formats & editions

  • EBook


    January 28, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    144 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Paperback


    December 1, 2009

    Vintage Classics

    144 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

Also by Raymond Carver