Like Life

Like Life

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

In Like Life’s eight exquisite stories, Lorrie Moore’s characters stumble through their daily existence. These men and women, unsettled and adrift and often frightened, can’t quite understand how they arrived at their present situations. Harry has been reworking a play for years in his apartment near Times Square in New York. Jane is biding her time at a cheese shop in a Midwest mall. Dennis, unhappily divorced, buries himself in self-help books about healthful food and healthy relationships. One prefers to speak on the phone rather than face his friends, another lets the answering machine do all the talking. But whether rejected, afraid to commit, bored, disillusioned or just misunderstood, even the most hard-bitten are not without some abiding trust in love.From Publishers WeeklyShort stories chronicle the "like lives" (as opposed to love lives) of misfits whose romantic endeavors have gone awry. "Wondrously witty," said PW. "With gallows humor and unfailing understanding, Moore evokes her characters' quiet desperation and valiant searches for significance." Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalSharply rendered, the slightly wistful tone of these eight stories reflects their color: gray, yet less autumnal than springlike, with an attendant edge of hope coloring the best of them. "The Jewish Hunter" stands out as a portrait of possibilities: of love, of relationship, of selfhood. In fact, Moore dances around the edges of broken relationships with a delicacy that expresses both despair, acceptance, and a fledging resilience to try again. The title story and "Vissi d'Arte" are excellent examples of Moore's subtle insight. These are stories that bear rereading. Recommended.- Linda L. Rome, Mentor, OhioCopyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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See What Can Be Done

See What Can Be Done

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

A welcome surprise: more than fifty prose pieces, gathered together for the first time, by one of America's most revered and admired novelists and short-story writers, whose articles, essays, and cultural commentary—appearing in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Harper's Magazine, and elsewhere—have been parsing the political, artistic, and media idiom for the last three decades.From Lorrie Moore's earliest reviews of novels by Margaret Atwood and Nora Ephron, to an essay on Ezra Edelman's 2016 O.J. Simpson documentary, and in between: Moore on the writing of fiction (the work of V. S. Pritchett, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, Stanley Elkin, Dawn Powell, Nicholson Baker, et al.) . . . on the continuing unequal state of race in America . . . on the shock of the shocking GOP . . . on the dangers (and cruel truths) of celebrity marriages and love...
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Bark: Stories

Bark: Stories

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

A new collection of stories by one of America’s most beloved and admired short-story writers, her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America (“Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial . . . Will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review, cover). These eight masterly stories reveal Lorrie Moore at her most mature and in a perfect configuration of craft, mind, and bewitched spirit, as she explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom. In “Debarking,” a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the United States prepares to invade Iraq, and against this ominous moment, we see—in all its irresistible wit and darkness—the perils of divorce and what can follow in its wake . . . In “Foes,” a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest themselves at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown . . . In “The Juniper Tree,” a teacher visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend is forced to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a kind of nightmare reunion . . . And in “Wings,” we watch the inevitable unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, neither of whom held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths, as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead-ends-ville and the workings of regret . . . Here are people beset, burdened, buoyed; protected by raising teenage children; dating after divorce; facing the serious illness of a longtime friend; setting forth on a romantic assignation abroad, having it interrupted mid-trip, and coming to understand the larger ramifications and the impossibility of the connection . . . stories that show people coping with large dislocation in their lives, with risking a new path to answer the desire to be in relation—to someone . . . Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud—the hallmark of life in Lorrie-Moore-land. From the Hardcover edition.ReviewPraise for Lorrie Moore’sBARK“Gaunt, splendid…What an irresistible bunch of characters she conjures up…We still need Lorrie Moore to work hard at making us laugh, to remind us that we’re frauds, we’re all just acting. To unzip words for us and let their sounds and meanings and pun potentialities jingle out like coins.  To point out the silver linings…She never lies to us.  She never tells us the water’s fine.  She says, Dive in anyway, “swim among the dying” while you can.  Learn how to suffer in style.”                                                            -Parul Seghal, Bookforum“The short form is her true forte.  Her talent is best exhibited in the collection’s longest stories (each around 40 pages); her comfort with that length is indicated by her careful avoidance of overplotting, which, of course, dulls the effect of an expansive short story, and by not allowing the stories to seem like the outlines of novels that never got developed.”                                                -Booklist (Starred Review)“One of the best short story writers in America resumes her remarkable balancing act, with a  collection that is both hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes in the same paragraph…In stories both dark and wry, Moore wields a scalpel with surgical precision.”                                                -Kirkus (Starred Review)“These stories are laugh-out-loud funny, as well as full of pithy commentary on contemporary life and politics.”                                                -Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)“Moore once again brings her acute intelligence and wit to play….The language has a fizzy rhythm that will have the reader turning the pages.  Smart, funny, and overlaid with surprising metaphor…Highly recommended.”                                                -Library Journal (Starred Review) About the AuthorLorrie Moore, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award.    
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Who Will Run the Frog Hospital

Who Will Run the Frog Hospital

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

From Publishers WeeklyA disillusioned, middle-aged woman's remembrance of an ephemeral teenage friendship is triggered by eating cervelles in a Parisian restaurant in Moore's acerbic, witty and affecting third novel (after Like Life). While vacationing in Paris, narrator Berie Carr, whose marriage is stuck in a bleakly funny state of suspended collapse, looks back to her girlhood in Horsehearts, an Adirondack tourist town near the Canadian border. There in the summer of 1972, she was a skinny, 15-year-old misfit who rejected her parents and idolized her sassy, sexually precocious friend Sils, who played Cinderella at a theme park called Storyland where Berie was a cashier. In a series of flashbacks, Berie recounts stealing into bars with Sils; sneaking cigarettes in the shadows of Storyland rides named Memory Lane and The Lost Mine; and how, midway through the summer, she was shipped off to Baptist camp after filching hundreds of dollars from her register to pay for an abortion for Sils. Moore's bitterly funny hymn to vanished adolescence is suffused with droll wordplay, allegorical images of lost innocence and fairy-tale witchery and a poignant awareness of how life's significant events often prove dismally anticlimactic. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalLooking back at her childhood from an unsuccessful marriage, Berie Carr remembers her best friend, Sils, and their last summer together in 1972. They worked in an amusement park, Berie as a cashier, Sils as Cinderella. At 15, they were irreverent, wild, curious, and oblivious to authority, and they spent the summer testing limits. Sils's experiments led to the inevitable unwanted pregnancy, and Berie provided the genius to fund the inevitable abortion. Unfortunately, larceny became a habit for Berie, and she was eventually caught in the act and sent away to church camp. The stories of Sils and of Berie's husband seem to have little to connect them, and Berie's final commentary does not bring them together. Although the pieces are well done, the whole is disjointed. A possible candidate where Moore's works (e.g., Anagrams, LJ 10/1/86) are popular.Johanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode IslandCopyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Birds of America

Birds of America

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

A National Book Critics Circle Award FinalistA N*ew York Times* Editors' ChoiceA Pulishers Weekly Best Book of the YearBirds of America is a stunning collection of twelve stories by Lorrie Moore, one of our finest authors at work today. With her characteristic wit and piercing intelligence she unfolds a series of portraits of the lost and unsettled of America, and with a trademark humor that fuels each story with pathos and understanding.
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Anagrams

Anagrams

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

From Publishers WeeklyMoore, praised for her short story collection Self-Help, makes her debut as a novelist with this story about what may be the disintegration of the thoroughly modern protagonist's personality. PW called Anagrams "original and highly inventive." Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library JournalWho exactly is Benna, the 33-year-old poetry teacher (or singer? or aerobics instructor?) we meet in this inventive novel? It is hard to say. She hidesfrom us, from herselfbehind imaginary identities, relationships, and scenarios in which elements of character and action are transposed like the letters of those anagrams she scribbles on napkins. Her fantasies are offered as straight narrative along with a stream of wisecracks ("All the world's a stage we're going through"). For deep down, Benna is terrified of the contingencies of reality ("One gust of wind and Santa became Satan"), longs for the very continuity she mocks. This won't be everyone's cup of tea. Still, the virtuosity of Moore's widely praised Self-Help ( LJ 3/15/85) is once again evident, and when she fleetingly reveals the vulnerability beneath the sleight of hand, it is very affecting. Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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100 Years of the Best American Short Stories

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories

Lorrie Moore

Literature & Fiction

A centennial retrospective selected by master of the form Lorrie Moore that showcases representative stories in the series as well as literary moments in time One of our most beloved short story writers, Lorrie Moore introduces and chooses from more than two thousand stories the forty-one writers collected here. From Edna Ferber to George Saunders, and everyone in between: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Cheever, Munro, Lahiri, Alexie, Diaz, to name just a few. Heidi Pitlor, in turn, recounts behind-the-scenes series anecdotes and gives a decade-by-decade examination of the trends captured by the series over a hundred years. The earliest stories ushered in a new and unflinching realism, the Depression saw the reign of Southern writing, and a post-war trend toward sentimentality was upended by the likes of Philip Roth. Soon after, John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates began to probe the dark side of their era's mythic happy family. The 1980s proved to be a golden...
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