“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” by Raymond Carver

What do we learn about love and life when two couples get together and talk over a bottle (or three) of gin? That is the essence of this short story that appears in a collection of works by the same name, published in 1981.


black and white photo of Richard Carver
Richard Carver, 1988

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

My friend Mel McGinnis was talking. Mel McGinnis is a cardiologist, and sometimes that gives him the right.

The four of us were sitting around his kitchen table drinking gin. Sunlight filled the kitchen from the big window behind the sink. There were Mel and me and his second wife, Teresa – Terri, we called her – and my wife, Laura. We lived in Albuquerque then. But we were all from somewhere else.

There was an ice bucket on the table. The gin and the tonic water kept going around, and we somehow got on the subject of love. Mel thought real love was nothing less than spiritual love. He said he’d spent five years in a…

Read the full story here.

Citation & Use Note

  • Image of Richard Carver, circa 1988, photographed by Marion Ettlinger, sourced from Wikimedia Commons. It is in the Public Domain.


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