Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

A New Path to the Waterfall

by Raymond Carver

“Extremely attractive, accessible and moving . . . Like all strong writers Raymond Carver wrote as if he had the whole of European and American culture in his bones . . . . An admirable coda and an invitation to re-read his fiction.” –Richard Locke, The Wall Street Journal

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 160
  • Publication Date May 31, 1990
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3374-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Raymond Carver, author of Where I’m Calling From, which The New York Times praised as “among the masterpieces of American fiction,” is widely considered one of the great short story writers of our time. A New Path to the Waterfall was Carver’s last book, and shows a writer of “astonishing compassion and honesty” (Washington Post Book World) telling the truth as best as he knows how in the time left to him. The sixty-odd poems in this collection are linked by Carver with selections from other writers, most notably Chekhov, whose work was an inspiration and a guide, and by the cumulative force of the life and death questions he poses in them.

In her introductory essay, Tess Gallagher, Carver’s companion and fellow writer, lays out the circumstances of their last years together with matter-of-fact grace. The arc of the circumstances of this collection”celebrating happiness in one’s love and work, memory, false starts and redemption, leavetaking and the full apprehension of death’describes a human journey in the words of this modern master.

As Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet guided countless readers discovering their true love and work, Carver’s book will guide those in the process of celebrating a limited life and mourning the inescapable end of it. A New Path to the Waterfall is an essential book for those who admire Carver’s work, and testament to the transcendent strength of the human spirit.

Praise

“Poems strong enough to turn inevitable death into art . . . . Read it. Read everything that Carver ever wrote . . . . Raymond Carver was a great writer.” –Salman Rushdie

“Extremely attractive, accessible and moving . . . Like all strong writers Raymond Carver wrote as if he had the whole of European and American culture in his bones . . . . An admirable coda and an invitation to re-read his fiction.” –Richard Locke, The Wall Street Journal

“A graceful, often moving closure to a difficult but triumphant literary life.” –Greg Johnson, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“Daring, dangerous work . . . . In the end, the measure of A New Path to the Waterfall is that of Carver himself, of his courage, his grace. It is a personal triumph, an invigorating book, one that transcends death.” –David L. Ulin, The Bloomsbury Review

A New Path to the Waterfall is a great writer’s last gift to the world, and it is gorgeous . . . . The unrelenting gaze of Carver’s clinical eye gives his witness to American life the eerie, rueful vividness of a Hopper painting. In this stillness words seem to resonate.” –John Lahr, The Listener

“A unique book . . . . these agonizingly naked, direct last verses address the most universal of all themes, the inexorable encroachment of mortality.” –Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle

“Carver’s last book is a collector’s item for his fans, as well as an uplifting, unflinching lesson in how to live “when there’s no more hope.” Last things, like words spoken from a deathbed, have a right to be heard and, in this case, cherished.” –Elizabeth Benedict, The Washington Post Book World