Authors & Events
May 06, 2014
| ISBN 9780345805584
Aug 13, 2013
| ISBN 9780385537513
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May 06, 2014 | ISBN 9780345805584
Aug 13, 2013 | ISBN 9780385537513
Based on the life of the great short-story writer Raymond Carver, Scissors is a compassionate and convincing portrayal of the creative life. An alcoholic with no money, Raymond’s writing career is going nowhere. When the charismatic editor Douglas, known ominously as “Scissors” among his peers, takes an interest in his stories, Raymond finally has a chance to make his mark—but he must decide between fame and artistic integrity. As Raymond wrestles with the dramatic changes Douglas insists he make to his manuscripts, his family has their own ideas about the form his work should take, and these, too, cannot be ignored. Calling into question the meaning of literary ownership, and capturing the compulsions, rewards, frustrations, and affinities with tragedy that come with the writerly life, Scissors is a story about love, loneliness, and the ways in which fiction can bring us together—and tear us apart.
Based on the life of the great short-story writer Raymond Carver, particularly his last ten years, Scissors is a funny, compassionate, and convincing portrayal of the creative life: its compulsions, rewards, and frustrations, and its affinities with tragedy.Raymond is a writer whose life is fraught with personal and creative struggle. His first marriage, to Marianne, is intense, passionate, and unhealthy. After his divorce, he finds new love and support with Joanne, a poet. All the while, Raymond is in an escalating conflict with his editor, Douglas, who both enhances and distorts Raymond’s work. As his success and confidence grow, Raymond strives harder and harder to ensure that his stories are published as written, with his past drinking and his previous life with Marianne always lurking in the background. Douglas thinks the stories are as much his as Raymond’s and is determined that only his, heavily edited, versions will appear in print. While Raymond considers his stories the most important part of his life, Marianne and Joanne claim stakes in them as well, leading to a dramatic and unexpected final confrontation with the man known as “Scissors.” In this brilliantly inventive novel, Michaka crafts a searing tale about the struggles and sacrifices one must endure for both love and art.
STEPHANE MICHAKA was born in Paris in 1974. He studied at Cambridge University and taught French in South Africa before embarking on a writing career. He has written theater pieces, children’s books, television scripts, and radio plays. Scissors is his… More about Stéphane Michaka
“[An] empathetic exploration of an author’s soul.” —NPR“Wonderful. . . . Scissors is extraordinary . . . for the humanity and compassion with which Michaka presents his flawed and fascinating characters. . . . Tender without ever slipping into sentimentality.” —The Millions“Inventive. . . . [Michaka] succeeds at evoking Carver’s own oft-imitated style.” —The Santa Fe New Mexican “A pretty darn good novel.” —The Oregonian “Michaka performs the prodigious feat of intertwining four biographies to produce a powerful reflection on literature itself.” —Le Monde
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