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About the Author: Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1957. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she tutored on an Indian reservation, and was editor of the university literary magazine and, at age 19, won Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Contest. After graduating summa cum laude, she worked in New York for two years before going on to received a Masters in Fine Arts from Cornell University.

Over the course of the last two decades Lorrie Moore has earned a place among the finest writers in this country by exploring the lives of modern women and men, many of them in the Midwest, as they confront the often absurd indignities of ordinary life, most particularly the quest for love and companionship. Her short stories have charted this territory with unfailing intelligence, an almost miraculous wit, and remarkable depth of feeling. Her prose is at once supple and sharp, hilarious and heartrending, and it has come to constitute an unmistakable prose style all her own. Like all great writers, she has managed to bring the pathos of her characters down into the very grammar of her sentences, and as a result her mature work has a generous, open, pellucid quality and a wonderful unexpectedness. It is the work of a writer who has mastered her art. Lorrie Moore’s stories are gifts, for her hard won, no doubt, but for her readers, pure pleasure.

She has been a Professor at the University of Wisconsin since 1984, where she is currently Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities.

Her most recent, A Gate at the Stairs, was published in September, 2009. It was a New York Times bestseller, and was named by the publication one of the year's best books.


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Goodreads rating: 3.14

Paperback, by Faber & Faber

ISBN10: 0571249469 | ISBN13: 9780571249466

Page count: 322

With America quietly gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, a 'half-Jewish' farmer's daughter from the plains of the Midwest, has come to university - escaping her provincial home to encounter the complex world of culture and politics.

When she takes a job as a part-time nanny to a couple who seem at once mysterious and glamorous, Tassie is drawn into the life of their newly-adopted child and increasingly complicated household. As her past becomes increasingly alien to her - her parents seem older when she visits; her disillusioned brother ever more fixed on joining the military - Tassie finds herself becoming a stranger to herself. As the year unfolds, love leads her to new and formative experiences - but it is then that the past and the future burst forth in dramatic and shocking ways.

Refracted through the eyes of this memorable narrator, A Gate at the Stairs is a lyrical, beguiling and wise novel of our times.

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