A beautiful hardcover edition of the collected stories of one of America’s most revered and admired authors.
Collected here for the first time in one volume are forty stories by Lorrie Moore—originally published in the acclaimed collections Self-Help, Like Life, Birds of America, and Bark and including three additional stories excerpted from her novels.
Moore is one of America’s most revered writers, and this career-spanning collection showcases her exceptional talent for leavening tragedy with humor, for blending sorrow with subversive wit. Her keenly observed stories are peopled by a variety of lost souls—husbands, wives, lovers, tourists, professors, students, even a ghost—who are often grappling with pain or disappointment: a divorced man obsessed with self-help books, a washed-up Hollywood actress living in a hotel, a woman with a terminal illness. But however lovelorn or dislocated the characters—from the wisecracking wedding guest in “Thank You for Having Me” to the self-deluded musicians in “Wings” to the complicated parent-child pairs in “How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)” and “The Kid’s Guide to Divorce”—their stories are always grounded in insight and compassion. Moore’s portraits of the parents of a seriously ill child in “People Like That Are the Only People Here” and of a woman haunted by guilt over the death of her friend’s baby in “Terrific Mother” achieve a notably unsentimental and yet quietly devastating power. Whether moving or darkly funny, all of these pieces channel the messiness of the human condition through Moore’s characteristically knowing, wry voice, and together they confirm her as a master of the short story.
Lorrie Moore is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the recipient of the Irish Times International Prize for Literature and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and… More about Lorrie Moore
“Moore’s writing contains multitudes . . . There really is no one quite like her.” —THE NEW REPUBLIC
“Extraordinary . . . Moore’s construction of a sentence, a paragraph, a page, is rarely less than exhilarating . . . There is a moral nobility to Moore’s assertion that even the least brilliant of lives deserve to be brilliantly documented . . . Moore does not make us feel better; she hurts us. But she hurts us in vital, generous ways, and it is testament to the brilliance of her writing that we let her.” —THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
“One of the finest short story writers in the country.” —LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS
“Lorrie Moore’s writing is strange and wonderful. It should be among anyone’s top reasons for being alive.” —POPMATTERS
“Here is why one reads Moore: the terse, true polish of her emotional wisdom.” —THE BOSTON GLOBE
“Her stories, her stories, are perfect.” —SLATE
“The sharpness, clarity, and wit of Moore’s voice was evident from the very beginning of her writing life . . . How lucky we are that we have Lorrie Moore’s voice to reflect this lunatic world back to us and show us how to see it in all its devastating hilarity.” —from the Introduction by Lauren Groff