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Descripción de editorial
“Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial…. Stand[s] by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review
The celebrated collection of twelve stories from one of the finest authors at work today.
A New York Times Book of the Year
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Winner of the Salon Book Award
A Village Voice Book of the Year
“A marvelous collection…. Her stories are tough, lean, funny, and metaphysical…. Birds of America has about it a wild beauty that simply makes one feel more connected to life.” —The Boston Globe
“At once sad, funny, lyrical and prickly, Birds of America attests to the deepening emotional chiaroscuro of her wise and beguiling work.” —The New York Times
“Stunning…. There’s really no one like Moore; in a perfect marriage of art form and mind, she has made the short story her own.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Birds of America stands as a major work of American short fiction…. Absolutely mastered.” —Elle
“Wonderful…. These stories impart such terrifying truths.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“Lorrie Moore soars with Birds of America.... A marvelous, fiercely funny book.” —Newsweek
“Fifty years from now, it may well turn out that the work of very few American writers has as much to say about what it means to be alive in our time as that of Lorrie Moore.” —Harper’s Magazine
Though the characters in these 12 stories are seen in such varied settings as Iowa, Ireland, Maryland, Louisiana and Italy, they are all afflicted with ennui, angst and aimlessness. They can't communicate or connect; they have no inner resources; they can't focus; they can't feel love. The beginning stories deal with women alienated from their own true natures but still living in the quotidian. Aileen in "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens," is unable to stop grieving over her dog's death, although she has a loving husband and daughter to console her. The collection's two male protagonists, a law professor in "Beautiful Grade" and a housepainter who lives with a blind man in "What You Want to Do Fine," are just as disaffected and lonely in domestic situations. The stories move on, however, to situations in which life itself is askew, where a tumor grows in a baby's body (the detached recitation of "People Like That Are The Only People Here" makes it even more harrowing ). In "Real Estate," a woman with cancer--after having dealt with squirrels, bats, geese, crows and a hippie intruder in her new house--kills a thief whose mind has run as amok as the cells in her body. Only a few stories conclude with tentative affirmation. "Terrific Mother," which begins with the tragedy of a child's death, moves to a redemptive ending. In every story, Moore empowers her characters with wit, allowing their thoughts and conversation to sparkle with wordplay, sarcastic banter and idioms used with startling originality. No matter how chaotic their lives, their minds still operate at quip speed; the emotional impact of their inner desolation is expressed in gallows humor. Moore's insights into the springs of human conduct, her ability to catch the moment that flips someone from eccentric to unmoored, endow her work with a heartbreaking resonance. Strange birds, these characters might be, but they are present everywhere. Editor, Victoria Wilson; agent, Melanie Jackson.