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Extended Audio Sample Scissors: A Novel, by Stéphane Michaka Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stéphane Michaka Narrator: Hillary Huber, Kathe Mazur, Lloyd James, Scott Brick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Based on the life of the great short-story writer Raymond Carver, particularly his last ten, postalcoholic years, Scissors is that rare thing: a funny, compassionate, and convincing portrayal of the creative life—its compulsions, its rewards, its frustrations, 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 (and to some extent, each of his wives) is in an escalating conflict with his editor, Douglas, who both assists and distorts Raymond’s work. As his success and confidence grow, Raymond strives harder and harder to ensure that his stories, the most important part of his life, are published as written. Douglas, who considers the stories as much his as Raymond’s, is determined to present them in the heavily edited form he’s given them. Four of Raymond’s stories, given in full at four different points in the novel, reflect his life, his relationships, and the creative process itself; and then Douglas goes to work on them. Raymond’s former alcoholism and his past and present relationships always lurk in the background, Marianne and Joanne offer their own perspectives on both, and in the end, after Raymond’s death, Joanne finally confronts Douglas in a way that Raymond never could.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Whether or not you know anything about Carver and his stories matters little. Stéphane Michaka’s talent and the attention he brings to each of his characters suffice to rivet the reader to his words. He breathes life into the trio as they revolve around the central figure of the writer, the man without certainties, whose work, although butchered by his editor, has been passed down to posterity.”

    Le Figaro

  • “Stéphane Michaka performs the prodigious feat of intertwining four biographies to produce a powerful reflection on literature itself.”

    Le Monde

  • “Told from multiple viewpoints and including four of Ray’s stories, Scissors is a detailed and intimate exploration of one man’s life. Based on the life of Raymond Carver, Michaka’s version takes readers deep into the creative life. Funny, sad, and deeply compassionate, Scissors is a unique and engaging novel that ponders life, love, and the importance of believing in ourselves and in our chosen work.”

    Booklist

  • “Loosely based on the life of Raymond Carver, this book is more than a love triangle—it’s a love polygon?—of a writer, his work, his editor, his significant other, and alcohol…Daring and impressive.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Stéphane 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, radio plays, and several novels.