By Raymond Carver
The background: I was just talking the other day with someone about this collection of short stories—and how they are so true to the ways people behave.
Why she chose it: I think Carver was open about how flawed he was. You can see that in his writing. He's so compassionate about the characters he created. I find that comforting—thinking about what a mess I am, and we all are, sometimes.
What stuck with her: In the story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," a woman says she lived with a man who loved her so much that he tried to kill her. It was perverse! But she was juggling those complicated feelings all humans have to juggle when dealing with something painful that's also appealing, something impossible to put away that's also destroying you.