Meghan O'Rourke, Troy Patterson, and Katie Roiphe discussRaymond Carver's "A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath."
Meghan O'Rourke, Troy Patterson, and Katie Roiphe discussRaymond Carver's "A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath."
Discussing new and classic works.
Nov. 16 2009 9:51 AM

The Audio Book Club on Raymond Carver

Our critics discuss "A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath."

To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club discussion of Raymond Carver's "A Small Good Thing," click the arrow on the player below.

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This month, the Audio Book Club tackles two versions of a Raymond Carver story—"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath." The former represents Carver's original vision, whereas the latter was heavily edited by Knopf's Gordon Lish. You can find both in the recently published Library of American compendium of Carver's stories.

In a roughly 45-minute book club, Slate's critics discuss the differences between the two versions and the merits of each. They also broach the question of whether Lish went too far by altering the message and tone of Carver's story as well as his style.


Slate's Audio Book Club now comes to you on the third Monday of every month. Our selection for December is Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura. Look for our discussion on iTunes or on the Slatehome page on Monday, Dec. 21. Also, please become a fan of the Audio Book Club on Facebook.

You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed or by clicking on the links below. To download the MP3 file, right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.

Questions? Comments? Write to us at . (E-mailers may be quoted by name unless they request otherwise.)

Meghan O'Rourke is Slate’s culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at the New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother’s death, is now out in paperback.

Troy Patterson is Slate’s writer at large and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.

Katie Roiphe, professor at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, is the author of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages and In Praise of Messy Lives.