‘A Small Good Thing’ by Raymond Carver

‘A Small Good Thing’ was the first short story that showed me the transcendent possibilities of the form. I didn’t understand how Carver could create his effects with such precision and concision; I still don’t. The story of a parents’ loss of a child and their consolatory interaction with a baker, ‘A Small Good Thing’ is a devastating tale of forgiveness and kindness that continues to reverberate deep within me.

First published in the USA in Cathedral, Alfred A. Knopf, 1983, and in Britain by Collins Harvill, 1984; collected in Where I’m Calling From – The Selected Stories, Harvill, 1993

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