Note to a Dear "Mr. Author" Friend, Asking Me About Raymond Carver

I can't believe I've never recommended Raymond Carver to you! It's so freaking obvious to me now, now that you mention his style, that you two are kindred spirits.

Carver never wrote a novel. At least not one that was ever published. And I'd be hard pressed to even point you to a novella.  I don't think he ever wrote a novella either.  Short stories were it. Though oftentimes, in the volumes he published while he was alive, there are some interconnections between the stories, which can give the collection a quasi-novelistic feel, though his stuff was not nearly as interconnected as your stories. Carver's stories have been so widely anthologized (I wouldn't be surprised if I've got nearly half of his stories in the anthologies I own), that I've never bothered buying any books of his, except one, Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories, because his poetry is harder to come by than his stories.

Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories

Carver was all the rage in the early to mid-1980s, and then he died, just having become famous, the new kid (though he was in his forties) in town. There's probably been a bit of a literary backlash against his sudden rise to prominence (sudden for us, his readers, though I'm sure it wasn't sudden for him, those long lonely hours writing) among critics and academics so that his star has lost some of its luster over the last twenty years, but I'm convinced it will luminesce even brighter once again -- the way it should and deserves to -- and that he'll be read and revered as globally a century from now like Chekhov.  You would love his stories, I just know you would, like I know the sun is "a settin' in the Wess rye now," as my beloved grandpappy (see photo below) would say.

"96 Years Young"
For my money, "Cathedral" is his greatest achievement. Stunning story by a stunning writer. Blue collar all the way, totally up your alley.

Btw, the review of Digging Deeper is nearing completion. I'm loving all the extra time I've had to let it brew and, I hope, improve. I think and hope that it will do your good book the justice it deserves, and make you pleased (perhaps proud even) to read it.