Harper Perennial has just published the anthology Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar: Stories of Work, edited by Richard Ford, which contains many of the authors you might expect, such as Russell Banks and John Cheever, and some you might not, like Donald Barthelme and Jeffrey Eugenides. There’s one author, though, that seems to be a particularly conspicuous omission: Raymond Carver. Not only is Carver a working-class literary icon, he’s also one of Ford’s favorites. An editor’s note at the end of the text explains that the Carver estate declined to allow his story “Elephant” to be included in the volume. Still, those interested in the ways that work is portrayed in fiction should pick up Ford’s anthology, and read Gerald Howard’s excellent Tin House essay “Never Give an Inch.”
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