Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lorrie Moore: Where Have You Been All My Life?

I've been reading, sllloooowwwly, the stories in Eugenides's collection: My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead. Some I'm familiar with (Joyce's "The Dead"; Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"; Munro's "The Bear Came Over the Mountain"), but some have been complete surprises. Denis Johnson's "Dirty Wedding" knocked me out as cold as a February wind; so much so that I went out and bought his latest book, Tree of Smoke, before realizing it too is a whopper, clocking in at 613 pages.

But Lorrie Moore's "How to be an Other Woman" might just be my favourite so far. It's a little gem of a story with such fresh prose that I kept laughing out loud last night in bed and reading parts to my half-asleep RRHB. But my favourite lines might have to be these:
"After four movies, three concerts, and two-and-a-half musuems, you sleep with him. On the stereo you play your favourite harp and oboe music. He tells you his wife's name. It is Patricia. She is an intellectual property lawyer. He tells you he likes you a lot. You lie on your stomach, naked and still too warm."
Now that's how to use the second person and not make me want to punch the story in the nose (tm Munro).

5 comments:

Kerry said...

I'd never read her before that story either, and cannot believe how I hadn't. I've since read Anagrams and have scheduled in everything else for some point in future.

Steven W. Beattie said...

I'm glad to hear that you're going slowly with this one: I'm still not done, even though I was supposed to review it for Valentine's Day. There's some great stuff in there, but it's not a quick read ...

ragdoll said...

I absolutely agree -- it's taking me forever. For short stories, many are impressively dense. Nabokov? Whew, that one took DAYS.

sam lamb said...

I've had Lorrie Moore's "Like Life" on my Amazon Wish List for so long I don't even remember how it got there. Perhaps it's time to order it?

But for tonight I'll read "Dirty Wedding".

Kate S. said...

Lorrie Moore is one of my all time favourite writers. I don't know how she pulls off the second person thing either, but she makes it work not just in that one story but through nearly an entire collection (Self Help). I thoroughly enjoyed that book (I get a particular kick out of the story "How to Become a Writer"), and I recommend it, but I think that her masterpiece so far is Birds of America.