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Join us on Thursday at 3PM to chat about the book!
by Raymond Carver
Read the book online: The Bath
This week in the Book Club we will be reading 'The Bath' by Raymond Carver.
In The Bath by Raymond Carver we have the theme of conflict, uncertainty, helplessness, fear and communication. Taken from his What We Talk About When We Talk About Love collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and is an early version of another Carver short story (A Small, Good Thing). One of the most striking things about the beginning of the story is that it becomes clear to the reader that Carver may be exploring the theme of communication (or the lack of it).
This story was released in 1989 in the collection, 'What we talk about when we talk about love'.
The author’s “first book of stories explored a common plight rather than a common subject,” noted New York Times Book Review critic Michael Wood. “His characters were lost or diminished in their own different ways. The 17 stories in [Carver’s third collection, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love], make up a more concentrated volume, less a collection than a set of variations on the themes of marriage, infidelity and the disquieting tricks of human affection.”
Carver’s stories mainly take place in his native Pacific Northwest region; they are peopled with the type of lower-middle-class characters the author was familiar with while he was growing up. In a New York Review of Books article, Thomas R. Edwards describes Carver’s fictional world as a place where “people worry about whether their old cars will start, where unemployment or personal bankruptcy are present dangers, where a good time consists of smoking pot with the neighbors, with a little cream soda and M&M’s on the side … Carver’s characters are waitresses, mechanics, postmen, high school teachers, factory workers, door-to-door salesmen. [Their surroundings are] not for them a still unspoiled scenic wonderland, but a place where making a living is as hard, and the texture of life as drab, for those without money, as anywhere else.”
About the Author
Poet and short-story writer Raymond Carver was born on the 25th of May 1938 in the logging town of Clatskanie, Oregon, and grew up in Yakima, Washington. He was married and the father of two before he was 20, and he held a number of low-paying jobs: he “picked tulips, pumped gas, swept hospital corridors, swabbed toilets, [and] managed an apartment complex,” according to Bruce Weber in a New York Times Magazine profile of the author. Not coincidentally, “of all the writers at work today, Carver may have [had] the most distinct vision of the working class,” as Ray Anello observed in a Newsweek article. Carver attended Chico State University, where he studied with John Gardner, and earned his BA from Humboldt State College in 1963. He published his first short-story and poem while at Humboldt State.
What is the book club?
Join us every week for a book club, each week we will read a new short story of part of a larger book, the books will be made available as an audio book and we will meet as a group via zoom to chat about the story. All are welcome, hope to see you there.
How to join the club to chat
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