Lorrie Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1957. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she tutored on an Indian reservation, and was editor of the university literary magazine and, at age 19, won Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Contest. After graduating summa cum laude, she worked in New York for two years before going on to received a Masters in Fine Arts from Cornell University. Over the course of the last two decades Lorrie Moore has earned a place among the finest writers in the USA by exploring the lives of modern women and men, many of them in the Midwest, as they confront the often absurd indignities of ordinary life, most particularly the quest for love and companionship. Her short stories have charted this territory with unfailing intelligence, an almost miraculous wit, and remarkable depth of feeling. Her prose is at once supple and sharp, hilarious and heartrending, and it has come to constitute an unmistakable prose style all her own. Like all great writers, she has managed to bring the pathos of her characters down into the very grammar of her sentences, and as a result her mature work has a generous, open, pellucid quality and a wonderful unexpectedness. It is the work of a writer who has mastered her art. Lorrie Moore’s stories are gifts, for her hard won, no doubt, but for her readers, pure pleasure.
In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore, in a perfect blend of craft and bewitched spirit, 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 hilarity 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 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 unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians who neither held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead ends and the workings of regret… 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 Lorrie Moore-land.