"Fires" is the best introduction to the full range and humanity of Carver's writing. It contains four essays, including a moving memoir of his father's working life in the saw-mills of the Pacific Northwest, a tribute to his mentor John Gardner, and the title essay about the influences on his writing life; fifty poems, many of them not collected elsewhere; and, seven stories, including three from the early collection "Furious Seasons".
'Here is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty, utterly free of pretence. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart' Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
Carver is a master; his stories are word perfect. His sentences stalk out meaning, following a trail of clues with patient care and painful anticipation. Fires [is] an indispensable volume and provides further proof of Carver's stature as a major American writer New Statesman These stories are perfect in pitch and tone. However harrowing their subject, or broken their characters, all of them revive one's faith in the redemptive power of straight story-telling Carver's poetry is non-metrical, free as prose... It works well and reads beautifully Independent