This short story collection is nearly 30 years old, but its artistry and appeal are timeless. The descriptions are succinct and rich with poetic detail (“His voice was slow with prairie, thick with Great Lakes.”). And Moore can be wry and funny as all get-out (“Illinois,” says one character, “it makes me sarcastic just to be here.”). She is a writer with an uncanny talent for capturing the universal thread that unites us no matter how different our personalities or circumstances are as readers, from the characters whose stories we read. I experienced a spark of recognition in all eight stories that connected me with the characters, even if it was just one line that stopped me in my tracks. These stories are truly like life, snapshots of lives brought to us by one of the best short story writers around.
In Like Life’seight exquisite stories, Lorrie Moore’s characters stumble through their daily existence. These men and women, unsettled and adrift and often frightened, can’t quite understand how they arrived at their present situations. Harry has been reworking a play for years in his apartment near Times Square in New York. Jane is biding her time at a cheese shop in a Midwest mall. Dennis, unhappily divorced, buries himself in self-help books about healthful food and healthy relationships. One prefers to speak on the phone rather than face his friends, another lets the answering machine do all the talking. But whether rejected, afraid to commit, bored, disillusioned or just misunderstood, even the most hard-bitten are not without some abiding trust in love.
About the Author
Lorrie Moore is the author of the story collections Birds of America and Self-Help, and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
“A brilliant collection. . . . The funny and the tragic dovetail with precision and poignancy.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Hilarious and generous and true. Moore’s work continues to astound.” –Newsday
“Insightful and moving . . . A rewarding, even exhilarating book.”–The New York Times Book Review
“There’s no other writer quite like Lorrie Moore. . . . Startling and wonderful.” –The Plain Dealer
“Affecting and beautifully written. . . . Her keenly detailed language and unfailing generosity of spirit are irresistible.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Lorrie Moore is a dazzler.” –Chicago Tribune
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