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Birds of America: Stories by Lorrie Moore
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Birds of America: Stories (1998)

by Lorrie Moore

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Lorrie Moore's short story collection "Birds of America" is generally pretty strong. There were a few weak stories, but even the stories I didn't like as much had interesting bits in them. Frankly, this was totally worth a read for Moore's metaphor indicating that love is raccoons in a chimney -- which is delightful, garish, absurd and accurate -- all that love should be. That metaphor will likely stick with me for a long time.

I find Moore to be a clever writer, and I appreciated her cleverness much more in these short stories than I did in her longer work. ( )
  amerynth | May 2, 2019 |
Yet another book beloved by many, but not by me. I only read 3 stories, but they were dull and didn't inspire me to read any more. Domestic fiction/relationships just aren't my reading thing, I guess. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Some stories are awesome, others are lackluster…but some are awesome...
Like this one
( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
Some stories are awesome, others are lackluster…but some are awesome...
Like this one
( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
first half was more enjoyable and interesting than the last half. ( )
  deldevries | Aug 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
This book is for my sister and for my parents and for Benjamin
First words
In her last picture, the camera had lingered at the hip, the naked hip, and even though it wasn't her hip, she acquired a reputation for being willing.
Quotations
The stages of bereavement: anger, denial, bargaining, Haagen-Dazs, rage. (four calling birds, three french hens)
"Life is a long journey across a wide country," he said. "Sometimes the weather's good. Sometimes it's bad. Sometimes it's so bad, your car goes off the road." (four calling birds, three french hens)
"It's a myth, the high suicide rates around Christmas. It's the homicide rate that's high. Holiday homicide. All that time the family suddenly gets to spend together, and then bam, that eggnog." (four calling birds, three french hens)
"He had limited notes to communicate his needs," she said. "He had his 'food' mew, and I'd follow him to his dish. He had his 'out' mew, and I'd follow him to the door. He had his 'brush' mew, and I'd go with him to the cupboard where his brush was kept. And then he had his existential mew, where I'd follow him vaguely around the house as he wandered in and out of rooms, not knowing exactly what or why." (four calling birds, three french hens)
What was Christmas if not a giant mixed metaphor? What was it about if not the mysteries of interspecies love--God's for man! Love had sought a chasm to leap across and landed itself right here: the Holy Ghost among the barn animals, the teacher's pet sent to be adored and then to die. (four calling birds, three french hens)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312241224, Paperback)

Lorrie Moore made her debut in 1985 with Self-Help, which proved that she could write about sadness, sex, and the single girl with as much tenderness--and with considerably more wit--than almost any of her contemporaries. She followed this story collection with another, Like Life, as well as two fine novels, Anagrams and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Yet Moore's rapid-fire alternation of mirth and deep melancholy is so perfectly suited to the short form that readers will greet Birds of America with an audible sigh of relief--and delight. In "Willing," for example, a second-rate Hollywood starlet retreats into a first-rate depression, taking shelter in a Chicago-area Days Inn. The author's eye for the small comic detail is intact: her juice-bar-loving heroine initially drowns her sorrows in "places called I Love Juicy or Orange-U-Sweet." Yet Moore seldom satisfies herself with mere pop-cultural mockery. She's too interested in the small and large devastations of life, which her actress is experiencing in spades. "Walter leaned her against his parked car," Moore relates. "His mouth was slightly lopsided, paisley-shaped, his lips anneloid and full, and he kissed her hard. There was something numb and on hold in her. There were small dark pits of annihilation she discovered in her heart, in the loosening fist of it, and she threw herself into them, falling." Elsewhere, the author serves up a similar mixture of one-liners and contemporary grief, lamenting the death of a housecat in "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens" and the death of a marriage in "Which Is More Than I Can Say About That." And her hilarious account of a nuclear family undergoing a meltdown in "Charades" will make you want to avoid parlor games for the rest of your natural life. --James Marcus

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A long-awaited collection of stories--twelve in all--by one of the most exciting writers at work today, the acclaimed author of Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Self-Help. Stories remarkable in their range, emotional force, and dark laughter, and in the sheer beauty and power of their language.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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