Stephen King on John Cheever and Raymond Carver

Stephen King on John Cheever and Raymond Carver


Iowa City
123 S Linn St

Until mid-1977, Raymond Carver was out of control. While teaching at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he and John Cheever became drinking buddies. “He and I did nothing but drink,” Carver said of the fall semester of 1973. “I don’t think either of us ever took the covers off our typewriters.” Because Cheever had no car, Carver provided transportation on their twice-weekly booze runs. They liked to arrive at the liquor store just as the clerk was unlocking for the day. Cheever noted in his journal that Carver was “a very kind man.” He was also an irresponsible boozehound who habitually ran out on the check in restaurants, even though he must have known it was the waitress who had to pay the bill for such dine-and-dash customers. His wife, after all, often waited tables to support him.

– Stephen King


King, Stephen. “Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/books/review/King-t.html?_r=0.