Blog Archives

The Wood That Starts the Fire

June 4th 2018

A.J. ASHWORTH identifies with the transformative power of chopping wood in Raymond Carver’s ‘Kindling’: ‘It’s not always obvious why some stories stay with us, why they seep into the small tributaries in our brains, colouring our minds like ink in water. Sometimes the reason a story resonates may be more obvious though.’

2016 Competition Winner

April 8th 2016

FIRST PLACE: ‘The Iron Which Pierces the Heart’ by ALEX COULTON – the winning essay in the 2016 THRESHOLDS International Short Fiction Feature Writing Competition…

Carver’s Cathedral

February 22nd 2016

CLAIRE EDWARDS walks us through Raymond Carver’s classic short story, Cathedral: ‘It is as if he has brought the ancient Greek character Tiresias, whose blindness is compensated for by second sight, into the prosaic setting of a living room’.

Voices of Impoverishment

November 11th 2015

G.F. PHILLIPS considers the impoverished voices in Carver’s short stories: ‘It is a world that conjures up the people’s goal as a means of achieving some kind of ‘American Dream’ in a land made for freedom and plenty. His characters think, speak and act out their shapeless lives, and yet, they adopt a common language…’

Carver: An Appreciation

November 10th 2014

In this essay, EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE finds that Carver’s stories are ‘populated by seemingly uncomplicated people, but they are people who are damaged or empty; vessels, which Carver’s carefully controlled compassion gives us reasons to want to fix and fill…’

What We Talk About When We Talk About Editing

May 26th 2014

When we talk about editing short stories, and we do, a lot, we talk about cutting every word that doesn’t have to be in a story. But I’m not sure it’s always so simple…’ ANGELA READMAN examines the effects of Lish’s edits on Raymond Carver’s short stories.

Read Something Every Day

September 11th 2013

JACK TILLEY discusses his experience of reading Carver: Collected Stories from The Library of America: ‘It went something like this: ‘Fat’, ‘Neighbors’, ‘The Idea’, ‘They’re Not Your Husband’. Then I couldn’t take any more. After four days I couldn’t read another story…’

Working for a Living:

January 30th 2012

The struggle to find a balance between writing and earning a living is one which most writers have experienced at some time or another.’ SALLY O’REILLY looks at how this conflict shaped the work of Raymond Carver.

Raymond Carver’s ‘A Small, Good Thing’

January 16th 2012

It is the contradictions of the human condition which Raymond Carver is so adept at exploring, a quality that makes his 1983 collection Cathedral a captivating read.’ WENDY GOOD recommends the story ‘A Small Good Thing’.

A Writer’s View

October 24th 2011

The short story is a glorious form that is evolving and changing before our very eyes; anything seems possible.’ Author JACKIE KAY shares her thoughts on the unique power of the short story.

Features Archive

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