Publisher: Anchor

Based on the life of the great short-story writer Raymond Carver, Scissors is a compassionate and convincing portrayal of the creative life. An alcoholic with no money, Raymond’s writing career is going nowhere. When the charismatic editor Douglas, known ominously as “Scissors” among his peers, takes an interest in his stories, Raymond finally has a chance to make his mark—but he must decide between fame and artistic integrity. As Raymond wrestles with the dramatic changes Douglas insists he make to his manuscripts, his family has their own ideas about the form his work should take, and these, too, cannot be ignored. Calling into question the meaning of literary ownership, and capturing the compulsions, rewards, frustrations, and affinities with tragedy that come with the writerly life, Scissors is a story about love, loneliness, and the ways in which fiction can bring us together—and tear us apart.



What comes over us is pretty scary. It takes hold without warning. Even when nothing’s going on, it’s there. It’s wait- ing. A delayed explosion, that’s it, that’s precisely what it is: a time bomb.

The alcoholic’s internal clock is the thing we’ve all come...
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“[An] empathetic exploration of an author’s soul.”

“Wonderful. . . . Scissors is extraordinary . . . for the humanity and compassion with which Michaka presents his flawed and fascinating characters. . . . Tender without ever slipping into sentimentality.”
The Millions

“Inventive. . . . [Michaka] succeeds at evoking Carver’s own oft-imitated style.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican

“A pretty darn good novel.”
The Oregonian

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