As the story goes, most of what American readers love about Raymond Carver is not the work of Carver at all.
“My greatest influences are those moments in my past where I’ve been surprised, or where I’ve surprised someone. Those are the moments that stay with me. Reading Jonathan Goldstein’s book Lenny Bruce is Dead was one of those instances where I was profoundly surprised.”
How do great authors begin their fiction? With a line or a character, a memory or a mission? This year, as Ploughshares’s unofficial origin-story archivist, I’ll investigate. Because I’m a teacher, I started by looking for stories that grew out of writing assignments. Here’s what I found. 1. Amy