Fans of Lorrie Moore will have already scooped up Bark, her new collection of short stories -- after all, it is the first collection that she has released in 15 years! But if are not familiar with this writer or you've heard her name and wonder what she is all about, now is the perfect time to check her out.
How do you know if Lorrie Moore is right for you?
- Don't have a lot of time to read in one sitting? While she has written acclaimed novels such as 2009's A Gate at the Stairs, short stories are Moore's claim to fame, and her stories appear regularly in magazines and literary journals. Her story "People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk" is considered a modern masterpiece of the form and is often taught in creative writing classes.
- Do you have a dark sense of humor? Great! Moore's stories blend tragedy and comedy in ways that might offend some readers, but that delight her fans. If you think sick babies, 9/11, or adultery have the potential for gothic comedy, then you'll enjoy her work. The emotionally squeamish or faint of heart need not apply.
If you get your hands on a copy of Bark, where should you start (assuming you are not the type of person who reads a story collection from cover to cover in order)?
The two strongest stories are the title story, "Debarking," which asks, among other things, why all the beautiful people are crazy, and "Wings," this reviewer's favorite, which chronicles the breakdown of a musician couple who realize they are never going to find success in the arts.