I think when the Library of America decides to publish an author's collected works it becomes official - they're inducted into the pantheon of great American writers. Some say what made Carver great was his editor Gordon Lish and his slicing and chopping of submitted text, changing names and titles, and generally driving Carver nuts. But the success is hard to argue with. What makes this edition so interesting is Carver's stories are laid out as he intended alongside Lish's edited ones.
Library of America, 1,019 pages, $40