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06 December 2010

THE WRITTEN WORD: Raymond Carver & Barry Hannah


Yesterday's New York Times Book Review--the holiday edition--weighed in at a splendid 68 pages. Near the back of the book, on "Paperback Row," a brief item noted that "Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life" now is available in paperback.

Also yesterday, in The Denver Post, William Porter's piece about Barry Hannah caught my eye. Titled, "A rogue's gallery of the south," Porter's story reviewed "Long, Last, Happy, New, and Selected Stories."

Both writers struggled with alcoholism. Both writers reportedly struggled with their relationships with women.

And both writers were on the Iowa Writers' Workshop scene--still drinkers, then--when I was a student at the University of Iowa.

I remember Raymond Carver reading his story "Feathers"--a hilarious yet sad story typical of his ouvre.

Stephen King originally reviewed the Carver bio for the Book Review and dubbed the book "meticulous and heartbreaking" and "a welcome and necessary corrective." The Book Review went on to include the biography by Carol Sklenicka in their list of the 10 Best Books of 2009.

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Colleen Smith’s debut novel Glass Halo, set in Denver, was a finalist for the Santa Fe Literary Prize and was praised in the latest issue of The Bloomsbury Review. The novel is available online and through your favorite bookstore.

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