Of books and things.

Currently reading Lorrie Moore’s “A gate at the stairs.” I always have to check the spelling of her name because I feel like I’m confusing Moore the author with the country singer … which is actually Lorrie Morgan but it’s close enough to confuse.   Mystery solved.

Moore is a fabulous writer, and I have my friend’s mother, Ingrid, to thank for turning me on to her. Clara (friend) was home in Seattle at Christmas and her mother was talking about Moore’s writing. I first read “Who will run the frog hospital?” and thought … who would not be intrigued by the title alone. Next up was “Self-help,” a collection of short stories that were equally scandalous, heart-rending and entertaining/amusing. I’m now reading “A gate at the stairs,” as stated above. Yes, I’m repeating myself.

Cover of Gate at the stairs, by Lorrie Moore

I love love love Moore’s writing and find her work equally depressing, as a writer. She is clever, smart, silly, true-to-life. Could I ever dare to write such fine books?

Reading some of her passages, with parenthetical phrases, reminds me of being with a silly friend who inserts a quip into whatever serious situation may be happening. To illustrate:

I loved to say quasi. I was saying it now a lot, instead of sort of, or kind of, and it had become a tic. “I am quasi ready to go,” I would announce. … Murph called me Quasimodo. Or Kami-quasi. Or wild and quasi girl.

I don’t want to give away story lines or twists that I’ve already uncovered in this book.  It’s a post-9/11 reflection on the life of a young college woman in the Midwest.

I once was a young college woman in the Midwest, though there aren’t loads of comparisons with my life.  And enough about me – read Lorrie Moore.  Listen to Lorrie Morgan, if you’re so inspired, too. I’m currently playing (thanks to her web site): “Leavin’ on your mind.”

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