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Lorrie Moore

Author of A Gate at the Stairs

34+ Works 11,768 Members 377 Reviews 82 Favorited
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About the Author

Lorrie Moore was born Marie Lorena Moore on January 13, 1957 in Glen Falls, New York. She was nicknamed Lorrie by her parents. She attended St. Lawrence University and won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest. After graduation, she moved to Manhattan and worked as a paralegal for two years. In 1980 show more she enrolled in Cornell University's M.F.A. program. After graduation from Cornell she was encouraged by a teacher to contact an agent who sold her collection, Self-Help, which was composed of stories from her master's thesis. Lorrie Moore writes about failing relationships and terminal illness. She is the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches creative writing. She has also taught at Cornell University. She has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper. She won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story People Like That They Are the Only People Here. In 1999 she was given the Irish Times International Fiction Prize for Birds of America. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006 and in 2010 her novel A Gate at the stairs was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award for fiction. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Lorrie Moore

A Gate at the Stairs (2009) 2,523 copies
Birds of America: Stories (1998) 2,447 copies
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994) 1,388 copies
Self-Help (1985) 1,204 copies
Like Life (1990) 925 copies
Anagrams (1986) 924 copies
Bark: Stories (2014) 651 copies
The Best American Short Stories 2004 (2004) — Editor — 556 copies
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories (2015) — Editor — 286 copies
The Collected Stories (2008) 231 copies

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Composer — 1,561 copies
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules (2005) — Contributor — 1,216 copies
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 1,132 copies
My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead (2008) — Contributor — 763 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1999 (1999) — Contributor — 450 copies
Points of View: Revised Edition (1966) — Contributor — 413 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1998 (1998) — Cover artist — 405 copies
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Contributor — 369 copies
Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000) — Contributor — 356 copies
The Best American Short Stories 2013 (2013) — Contributor — 279 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1993 (1993) — Contributor — 276 copies
Granta 54: Best of Young American Novelists (1996) — Contributor — 237 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 223 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1990 (1990) — Contributor — 218 copies
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Contributor — 212 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 184 copies
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (2008) — Contributor — 125 copies
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories (1996) — Contributor — 114 copies
20 Under 30 (1986) — Contributor — 90 copies
A Life in Medicine: A Literary Anthology (2002) — Contributor — 82 copies
Granta 147: 40th Birthday Special (2019) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 34 copies
Reasons to Believe: New Voices in American Fiction (1988) — Contributor — 7 copies


2010 (45) 20th century (129) adoption (95) America (58) American (232) American fiction (88) American literature (251) anthology (1,068) Best American Series (72) collection (110) college (43) coming of age (72) contemporary (62) contemporary fiction (62) ebook (68) essays (72) fiction (2,764) first edition (48) Granta (44) humor (80) libraries (74) literary fiction (75) literature (301) Lorrie Moore (49) Midwest (47) non-fiction (97) novel (150) own (140) read (219) short fiction (173) short stories (2,837) short story (108) short story collections (59) stories (216) to-read (1,085) unread (180) USA (102) wishlist (48) women (46) writing (119)

Common Knowledge



Lorrie Moore suggestions in Short Stories (August 2023)


The excerpt in the New Yorker hooked me. Great characters.
monicaberger | 164 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
Exploring Uncharted Territory: My Quest for a New Experience

I embarked on this reading journey with the desire to broaden my literary horizons, stepping out of my usual mystery genre comfort zone. Unfortunately, my expectations of loving or even liking this book were not met. Lorrie Moore's "I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home" proved to be a challenging read for me, and I couldn't fully connect with its narrative.

In my quest to explore diverse literary experiences, I discovered a podcast where Lorrie Moore herself discussed this novel. She openly acknowledged its departure from the conventional structure and plotlines often found in commercial novels, emphasizing the freedom that authors of literary fiction have to explore unconventional narrative approaches.

The story is set in 2016 and centers around Finn, a high school history teacher with a penchant for conspiracy theories. The novel commences with his conversations with his terminally ill brother, Max, occupying the first third of the book. The remainder of the story follows Finn on a surreal road trip with his deceased girlfriend, Lily, who has seemingly returned from the grave and is not yet ready to find her final resting place. Their interactions, often tinged with dark humor, take place as Lily undergoes decomposition before ultimately settling into her eternal rest.

Woven into the narrative are diary entries dating back to around 1870, authored by an innkeeper named Libby or Eliz. These entries provide a historical backdrop, detailing the aftermath of the Civil War, and reveal that Libby, too, engages in extensive conversations with a deceased individual.

In essence, "I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home" is an unconventional literary work that delves into themes of love, death, dying, grief, and challenges the reliability of historical accounts. While this book may not resonate with every reader, it undeniably offers a unique and thought-provoking narrative experience.

… (more)
b00kdarling87 | 11 other reviews | Jan 7, 2024 |
These are great stories, but I imagine I'd like them more if I were older. The humor, the settings, the characters, a lot of what was going on seemed dated to me. Beautiful writing, some great jokes, but not my favorite book of literary shorts ever.
LibrarianDest | 48 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
The problem here is that I read this a while back and all the remains in my memory is the grim horror of the Rat King in the central story Wings. I know there is more here, dark stories about relationships and humans trying not to be alone, but all I'm left with is the Rat King.
AlisonSakai | 34 other reviews | Dec 30, 2023 |



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½ 3.7

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