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Tell Me A Story (Series)

Produced by Leet and Litwin

Most recent piece in this series:

Raymond Carver Reads What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

From Leet and Litwin | Part of the Tell Me A Story series | 29:43

Carver_2_small The New York Times Book Review says that Raymond Carver is "surely the most influential writer of American short stories in the second half of the 20th century." Surely Raymond Carver's signature story is WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE. This program presents the story, told in his voice: his own interpretation of his work. In 1983, we meet him at dawn, in a motel in Palo Alto. After a short conversation, philosophical and sometimes funny, the story begins.


Originally, the story had a different title: BEGINNERS. The original tale had been different, too: longer, more complex, more nuanced, with more significant characters. At the time Carver's editor was Gordon Lish, who whittled the story, adding violent actions and offensive language. And Lish renamed the story from BEGINNERS to WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE.

When in 1983, we recorded Carver in Palo Alto, he was working on a Broadway play; this would be entitled to be BEGINNERS. Decades later, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrita made the story-inspired, play-inspired into a movie called BIRDMAN; he hired four writers; the director also wrote. The result: the highest award for the 2015 Oscars.

This background is not included in this program, but stations may find useful some extra information to present the show.

ALSO! We suggest to CHOP OFF AT 29:00! The last 43 seconds are NOT RELEVANT now.