Nanoreview: Lorrie Moore – Self-Help

LorrieMoore

When you were six you thought “mistress” meant to put your shoes on the wrong feet. Now you are older and know it can mean many things, but essentially it means to put your shoes on the wrong feet.

I always forget how god damn dark Lorrie Moore is, tending instead to think of her a humourist. The theme that runs through this short story collection is relationships that are broken or about to break. Moore’s characters are self-aware enough to know what they’re doing isn’t helping, but not confident enough to change. A woman is confounded by the realisation she’s become someone’s mistress. A woman chooses euthanasia over chemotherapy and throws a party to tell her friends at which she thinks she sees her husband making plans to date someone after she’s gone. A woman steals from her work to compensate for her anxiety about her young son’s happiness and her husband’s former (possibly ongoing) infidelities. It occurs to me that Moore’s humour is what I remember because it’s less discomforting than her depiction of her characters’ flaws and failings, and their paralysis in the face of oncoming tragedy, which is as sharp as her sense of humour (but jeez!). That said, she is funny, and smart, and a dab hand at a pun, too.

Recommended.

Compare second-hand prices for Self Help here.

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About

Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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4 comments on “Nanoreview: Lorrie Moore – Self-Help
  1. Please stop telling me about books that I really want to read.

  2. Adam Ford says:

    I don’t really have any to spare, I’m afraid.

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About Adam

I'm a dad and the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird and Not Quite the Man for the Job, the novel Man Bites Dog and the short story collection Heroes and Civilians.
contact: adamatsya@gmail.com
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ta-wit ta-woo
Quelle Grammage!
tfw you crash your friend’s top nine. sorry @hoardworld, but thanks a kajillion for sharing your action figure loving audience with me. xx how could i NOT write a pome about dis? still need somebody to publish it but my best nine for 2017. less dolls this year. thanks for the validation you lovely people. xxx #bestnine2017
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