Raymond Carver was born in 1939 in Clatskanie, Oregon. He grew up in 'a little two-bedroom house' in Yakima, a small town in Eastern Washington. After school he worked for six months in the same saw-mill his father worked in, beginning a series of jobs that included 'janitor jobs, delivery man jobs, service-station jobs, stockroom boy jobs...' He married young and had two children – 'I was eighteen, she was sixteen and pregnant'.
He managed to put himself through college, and got a BA degree from Chico State, where he was taught by John Gardner to whom he pays tribute in Fires. He also attended the Iowa Writers Workshop for a year on a five hundred dollar scholarship, and was an undergraduate at