Master of the understated short story, Raymond Carver, was termed by literary critics an "urban realist". His stories were not fantasy, not farfetched tales of some other more exciting time or place. They were effortless accounts of ordinary (sometimes even dull) working-class lives, based in real places with plots which hinged on small, unimportant details. Carver's own life had been like this; a hard drinker with a string of menial jobs behind him; his life changed when he started writing.
Through his work, the short story went through something of a renaissance in America. The public at large enjoyed his stories and critics acclaimed his perceptive writing style that avoided a reliance on exciting plots or happy endings. His first collection of stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, published in 1976, included stories crafted over the previous fifteen years, each one written in his minimalist style which avoided using ten words where one would suffice. An inscribed first edition of the book, published by McGraw-Hill, realized over $4,500 at auction.
Carver was to follow up this work with just four more short story collections and a number of poetry pieces before his death in 1988. These later collections such as What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, were received equally well when published but are not nearly as sought after by collectors.
Because of his short writing career, collectors have been left with little more than a handful of Carver's short story and poetry collections. While his tales of the mundane are clearly not to everyone's liking, this limited supply of work, and a reputation that is well established in literary circles, has helped his books to achieve a certain degree of attention by collectors.
Carver, Raymond. Winter Insomnia. Kayak, Santa Cruz (1970). 1000 Copies; Designed And Printed By George Hitchcock; Illustrated With Prints By Robert Mcchesney; Signed By The Author
CARVER, Raymond. PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1974). 500 Softbound Copies In Decorated Wraps; The First Collection Of Carvers Stories To Be Published In Book Form; 75 Numbered, Signed Hardbound Copies; Block Prints By Marcia Maris.
Carver, Raymond. At Night the Salmon Move. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1976). 1000 Softcover Copies, Plus 100 Signed Hardcopy Copies.
Carver, Raymond. The Stories of Raymond Carver. McGraw- Hill (1976). Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?; First Edition Indicated By Number Sequence 123456789 On The Copyright Page.
Carver, Raymond. Furious Seasons. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1977). 1200 Softcover Copies, 100 Signed
Carver, Raymond. The Pheasant.. Metacom, Worcester (1982). 176 Total Copies; 26 Lettered, Hardbound Copies Signed By The Author; None Of The Hardbound Copies Were For Sale, Half The Edition Having Been Reserved For The Author, The Other Half For The Publisher.
Carver, Raymond. Two Poems. Scarab Press, Salisbury (1982). 75 (Of 100) Numbered Copies Signed By Carver On Title Page And Again On The Colophon.
Carver, Raymond. At Night The Salmon Move.. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1983). Poetry Postcard. One Of 25 Numbered Copies Signed By Carver. Issued As A New Years Greeting By The Publisher.
Carver, Raymond. Cathedral. Alfred A. Knopf, Westminister (1983). First Printing; Signed And Dated (Oct. 27, 1983) By The Author Upon Publication
Carver, Raymond. Fires. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1983). Essays, Poems, Stories; 250 Numbered Copies Signed By The Author
Carver, Raymond. For Tess. William B. Ewert, Concord (1984). Large Broadside Poem; 125 Numbered Copies Printed By Claire Van Vliet At The Janus Press; Signed By Both Carver And Van Vliet.
Carver, Raymond. If It Please You. Lord John Press, Northridge (1984). Signed, Limited First Edition; 26 Lettered And 200 Numbered Copies Signed By Carver (Out Of A Total Edition Of 226)
Carver, Raymond. We Are Not in This Together.. Graywolf Press, Port Townsend (1984). Kittredge, William; Edited And With An Introduction By Raymond Carver; 50 Numbered Copies Signed By Kittredge And Carver
Carver, Raymond. Dostoevsky. A Screenplay. Capra Press, Santa Barbara (1985). Tess Gallagher; First Edition. 200 Signed, Numbered Copies; Signed By The Author, Raymond Carver And Tess Gallagher; A Double Book Which When Turned Over Becomes Ursula K. Leguin'S King Dog. A Screenplay Also Has Its Own Limitation Page, Also 200 Numbered Copies, Signed By Leguin.
Carver, Raymond. The Window. William B. Ewert, Concord (1985). A Small Broadside Poem On Heavy, Textured Card Stock; Total Edition Of 136 Copies; 36 Numbered, Signed Copies
CARVER, Raymond. This Water. William B. Ewert, Concord (1985). 36 Copies Quarterbound In Grey Linen With Blue Spine Label And Blue Boards, And Signed By The Author; Total Copies: 136
Carver, Raymond. Where Water Comes Together With Other Water. Random House (1985). Signed By The Author On The Title Page.
Carver, Raymond. Early for the Dance. William B. Ewert, Concord (1986). A Collection Of Poems. 136 (36 Roman-Numeraled) Copies, The Entire Hardcover Edition; Signed By The Author
Carver, Raymond. The River. William B. Ewert, Concord (1986). A Broadside, The First Done By Ewert To Be Issued In Two States That Were For Sale; John Jagel, Illustrator; 100 Numbered Copies And 26 Lettered Copies (Total Edition: 126); All Copies Signed By Carver And The Illustrator
Carver, Raymond. Two Poems. William B. Ewert, Concord (1986). A Holiday Greeting Issued By Ewert; 100 Copies Single Sheet, Folded Once; 26 Lettered Copies Bound In Brown Wrappers, Lettered, And Signed By The Author.
Carver, Raymond. Ultramarine. Random House (1986). First Printing; Signed By Carver On The Title Page
Carver, Raymond. Intimacy. William B. Ewert, Concord (1987). 75 Signed, Numbered Copies
Carver, Raymond. Music. William B. Ewert, Concord (1987). Limited Edition Of 26 Lettered Copies Of Total Edition Of 126; Signed By Carver As Issued.
Carver, Raymond. Portraits. Ecco Press (1987). By Bill Burke; With A Preface By Andy Grundberg; Ray Carver Contributed An Essay Entitled:Where He Was: Memories Of My Father, Which Includes A Poem
Carver, Raymond. Those Days. Raven Editions, Elmwood (1987). A Collection Of Early Pieces By Carver That Were Written Prior To The Publication Of His First Book, Near Klamath. William Stull, Editor; Carver Himself Wrote An Introduction; Designed And Printed By Carol Blinn Of Warwick Press; Three Issues, Two Of Which Were Offered For Sale: 100 Numbered Copies In Wrappers, 26 Lettered Copies In Marbled Paper Boards; And 14Presentation Copies, Never Offered For Sale.
Carver, Raymond. Afghanistan. Ewert/Firefly Press (1988). A Broadside Of A Poem That First Appeared In Where Water Comes Together With Other Water; Limited Issue: 50 Signed, Unnumbered Copies.
Raymond Carver. Elephant. Jungle Garden Press, Fairfax (1988). 200 Copies Signed By Both Raymond Carver And The Illustrator Carl Dern; Designed, Handset And Preinted Letterpress By Marie Dern
Carver, Raymond. His Bathrobe Pockets Stuffed With Notes.. Raven Editions, Elmwood (1988). 3 Pages, With A Black And White Illustration; 15 Signed, Numbered Copies For Presentation (Out Of A Total Of 70 Copies); A Single Folded Sheet Handsewn In Colorful Marbled Wrappers With A Printed Paper Label Affixed To The Upper Cover, As Issued. Published On The Occasion Of Carvers Receiving An Honorary Degree From The University Of Hartford.
Carver, Raymond. Lord John Ten. Lord John Press (1988). Anthology; A Celebration; Dennis Etchison, Editor; 250 Copies (75 Bound In Leather) Signed By All The Contributors: Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, James Crumley, Will Everson, President Gerald Ford, Jim Harrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Parker, John Purdy, John Updike, Diane Wakoski, Et.Al.; 325 Total Copies
Carver, Raymond. The Painter and The Fish.. William B. Ewert, Concord (1988). Woodcuts By Mary Azarian; 74 Number Copies, 26 Lettered Copies And 15 Publisher Copies; Specially Bound In Boards, Signed By Raymond Carver And The Artist, Mary Azarian.
CARVER, Raymond. The Toes. William B. Ewert, Concord (1988). A Limited Edition That Was In Preparation For Private Distribution As A 1988 Holiday Greeting When Carver Died, On August 2, 1988; 136 Copies Done, Of Which 36 Were Bound In Wrappers
Carver, Raymond. Where I'm Calling From. The Franklin Library (1988). 1988 Signed First Edition. 250 Copies
Carver, Raymond. Objects of Reverie. Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines (1989). Selected Photographs 1977-1989; Jo Ann Callis; 150 Numbered, Signed Hardcover Copies. There Was Also 1,000 Copies In Wrappers. Poetry By Raymond Carver Accompanies Callis Photos; Signed By Illustrator
Carver, Raymond. The Painter and the Fish. William B. Ewert, Concord (1989). Total Edition Of 115 Copies; 74 Numbered Copies In Wrappers.
Carver, Raymond. Carnations. Engdahl Typography, Vineburg (1993). A Play In One Act; Edited And With An Afterword By Carvers Bibliographer, William Stull, And With An Introduction By Richard Cortez Day; 200 Copies (124 Numbered and 26 Lettered)
Carver, Raymond. Short Cuts. New York Vintage (1993). Selected Stories; Introduction By Robert Altman; First Edition; Paperbound; Some Copies Signed By The Author Of The Introduction And The Director Of The Film Short Cuts, Robert Altman, Also Signed By Frank Barhardt Who Co-Wrote The Screenplay With Robert Altman, Raymond Carver'S Wife, Poet And Writer, Tess Gallagher, And By The Stars Of The Film - Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lili Taylor, And Chris Penn.
Carver, Raymond. Todd Hido: Roaming. Nazraeli Press, Tucson (2004). Todd Hido, Photographer; First And Only Printing. Signed In Black Ink On The Half-Title Page By Hido. Hardcover. PoemThe Phone Booth By Raymond Carver. 56 Pp. With 25 Four-Color Plates; 3000 Copies
Cather, Willa. The Fear That Walks by Noonday. Junior Class of the University of Nebraska (1894). In: The Sombrero [Yearbook]; Willa Cather, Associate Editor; Dorothy Canfield; Illustrated; Including Cathers Portrait And A Facsimile Of Her Signature