Lorrie Moore

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For the journalist, please see Lori Moore
Lorrie Moore
Born Marie Lorena Moore
(1957-01-13) January 13, 1957 (age 57)
Glens Falls, New York, US
Occupation Short-story writer, Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1985–present
Notable work(s)

Birds of America (1998)
Who Will Run The Frog Hospital (1994)

A Gate at the Stairs (2009)

Lorrie Moore (born Marie Lorena Moore on January 13, 1957) is an American fiction writer known mainly for her humorous and poignant short stories.

Biography[edit]

Marie Lorena Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York, and nicknamed "Lorrie" by her parents. She attended St. Lawrence University. At 19, she won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest.[1] After graduating from St. Lawrence, she moved to Manhattan and worked as a paralegal for two years.

In 1980, Moore enrolled in Cornell University's M.F.A. program, where she was taught by Alison Lurie.[2] Upon graduation from Cornell, Moore was encouraged by a teacher to contact agent Melanie Jackson. Jackson sold her collection, Self-Help, composed almost entirely of stories from her master's thesis, to Knopf in 1983.[2]

Themes[edit]

Moore writes frequently about failing relationships and terminal illness and is known for her mordant wit and pithy one-liners. Her stories often take place in the Midwest.

Works[edit]

Short stories[edit]

Her short story collections are Self-Help (1985), Like Life, the New York Times bestseller Birds of America, and Bark. She has contributed to The Paris Review. Her first story to appear in The New Yorker, "You're Ugly, Too," was later included in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Another story, "People Like That Are the Only People Here," also published in The New Yorker, was reprinted in the 1998 edition of the annual collection The Best American Short Stories; the tale of a young child falling sick, the piece was loosely patterned on events in Moore's own life. The story was also included in the 2005 anthology Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, edited by David Sedaris.

Moore's Collected Stories was published by Faber in the UK in May 2008. It included selections from each of her previously published collections, excerpts from her novel Anagrams, and three previously uncollected stories first published in The New Yorker.

Moore's latest collection Bark was published on February 25, 2014. The Washington Post calls it “[A] powerful collection about the difficulty of letting love go.” [3]

Nathaniel Rich of The Atlantic says, "“Moore is not only a brilliant noticer. She is also brilliant at noticing those things that ‘one was supposed not to notice,’ namely our seemingly limitless cruelty, apathy, and violence…The initial surprise of Moore’s effervescent, jarring stories ultimately yields to a response that, far from mystification, is its mirror opposite: enlightenment.” [4]

And in the New York Times Book Review, David Gates writes, "“No admirer of Moore’s will go away either overloaded or unsatisfied, and the book lets us contemplate and savor just what makes her work unique…Moore didn’t invent the breed, but she may be the chief contemporary chronicler of those whose dread makes them unable to turn off the laugh machine. It’s commonplace to call Moore ‘funny,’ but that’s not quite right. P. G. Wodehouse is funny. Moore is an anatomist of funny…In a world according to Moore—the ‘planet of the apings,’ as one character thinks of it—who could ask for more?” [5]

In general, however, reviews of Bark have been mixed. Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times, for instance, refers to the collection as "disappointing" and asserts that Moore's latest stories "serve up stale aphorisms" and involve "impulsive, almost twitchy attempts at humor."[6]

Novels[edit]

Moore's novels are Anagrams (1986), Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), and A Gate at the Stairs (2009). Who Will Run the Frog Hospital is the story of a woman vacationing with her husband who recalls an intense friendship from her adolescence. A Gate at the Stairs takes place just after the September 11 attack and is about a twenty-year-old Midwestern woman's coming of age.

Children's Books[edit]

Moore has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper, about an elf whom Santa Claus mistakenly leaves behind at the home of the worst child on his "good" list. The elf must help the child be good for the coming year so Santa will return next Christmas.

Essays[edit]

Moore writes frequently about popular culture for The New York Review of Books.[7]

Awards[edit]

Moore won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story "People Like That Are the Only People Here," published in The New Yorker on January 27, 1997. In 1999, Moore was named as the winner of the The Irish Times International Fiction Prize for Birds of America.[8] In 2004, she was selected as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre.

She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006, and is a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.[9] In 2008, she delivered Oxford University's annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters at the university's Rothermere American Institute. Her 2009 novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and for the Orange Prize for Fiction.[10] Bark was shortlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.[11]

Academic career[edit]

Moore was the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught creative writing for 30 years. She joined the faculty there in 1984[12] and left to join the faculty at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2013.[13]

She has also taught at Cornell University, as the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, and at the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan.[14][15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Moore was profiled in the September 2009 Reader's Digest about her current readings (Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro), her Internet usage (Wikipedia), her listenings (Al Green, Joni Mitchell, and Tuck & Patti), and her television habits (Mark Shields, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart. Eugene Robinson, and Rachel Maddow).[17]

Bibliography[edit]

Short stories[edit]

Novels[edit]

Children's books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kelly, Alison (2009). Understanding Lorrie Moore. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-57003-823-5. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Kelly, pp. 2
  3. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-review-lorrie-moores-bark-looks-at-bitter-disappointments-of-relationships/2014/02/24/6e932804-9755-11e3-8461-8a24c7bf0653_story.html
  4. ^ http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/03/the-aliens-next-door/357565/
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/2a3/books/review/lorrie-moores-bark.html?_r=0
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/books/bark-lorrie-moores-meditations-on-time.html?_r=0
  7. ^ "Contributors: Lorrie Moore". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Winners of the Irish Times International Fiction Award. http://facstaff.unca.edu/moseley/irish.html[dead link]
  9. ^ Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Wisconsin Academy Fellows : Lorrie Moore, accessed October 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Marjorie Kehe, "Three "beautiful" Orange Prize finalists," Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2010, accessed October 2, 2010.
  11. ^ Alison Flood (13 June 2014). "Frank O'Connor prize shortlist pits 'masters' against first-timers". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ Vidich, Paul. "Lorrie Moore: An Interview", Narrative Magazine, June 2009. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  13. ^ Charles McGrath,, "Lorrie Moore’s New Book Is a Reminder and a Departure", New York Times, February 17, 2014. Accessed February 19, 2014.
  14. ^ Crawford, Franklin. "Author Lorrie Moore returns to accept CU alumni artist award", Cornell Chronicle, 2004-12-09. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  15. ^ Kelly, p. 166
  16. ^ "Recent Visitors to the MFA Program", University of Michigan. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  17. ^ "What I'm Up To: Lorrie Moore". Reader's Digest. September 2009. p. 26.

External links[edit]