Bark: Lorrie Moore’s polarized America

by Rachel Baker on March 3, 2014

Daniel D’Addario has a well-written review on Salon of Lorrie Moore’s new collection of short stories, “Bark”.   According to D’Addario, if you are looking for something that will help you understand life as we lived it in the past 10 years, then “Bark” is it.

Here are themes and motifs that come up repeatedly in “Bark,” Lorrie Moore’s fourth collection of stories: a wedding ring stuck on a character’s finger after the end of the marriage; the specific taste of meat; dessert being mashed into a human face; suburban streets named in a manner so implausibly twee as to make a resident pensively angry or angrily pensive; preoccupation with the political scene that gives way to a hands-thrown-up sort of exhaustion.

Though “Bark” will, by Moore fans, be compared endlessly to her previous story collections — not least because it’s her first collection since 1998’s “Birds of America” — it bears more similarity to her novel “A Gate at the Stairs,” a book that dealt angrily with the state of class and perpetual war in 2000s America. Unlike Moore’s earlier collections, “Gate” didn’t reward its reader with any sort of lesson or, really, any human warmth; its protagonist, a woman called in to care for the child of a snobbish family, seemed intended to illuminate hard lessons about any number of American crises at the end of empire.

Check out the remainder of the article here:
http://www.salon.com/2014/02/26/bark_lorrie_moores_polarized_america/

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