Bark

Stories

Publisher: Anchor Canada
"The glory of Moore's writing isn't simply that it toys with our expectations; it is that--like life itself--it turns them on their heads and gives them a good hard shake. . . . A long time in coming, Bark is a reminder--if one was needed--that when it comes to writing stories, Moore is still ahead of the pack." Toronto Star
     In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore, in a perfect blend of craft and bewitched spirit, explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom.
     In "Debarking," a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the United States prepares to invade Iraq, and against this ominous moment, we see--in all its irresistible hilarity and darkness--the perils of divorce and what can follow in its wake. . . . In "Foes," a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown. . . . In "The Juniper Tree," a teacher, visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend, is forced to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in a kind of nightmare reunion. . . . And in "Wings," we watch the unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians who neither held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead ends and the workings of regret.
     Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud--the hallmark of Lorrie Moore-land.

PRAISE FOR

“[Moore’s] craft throughout Bark is impeccable. . . . she has a poet’s sense of brevity and music. Her stories are page-turners not because they are laden with suspense but because readers know each new sentence will be an unexpected little gem of humor or sadness, or both.”
Santa Barbara Independent

“No admirer of Moore’s will go away either overloaded or unsatisfied, and it lets us contemplate and savor just what makes her work unique. . . . A sense of dread both aesthetically satisfying, and deeply scary.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Its stories tend to feel like easily consumed entertainments, with intimations at wisdom and meaning just compelling enough to keep us reading. . . . She can be a master of irony, using it to illuminate the vast gaps between people, between language and understanding, and what deep sadness persists in those spaces.”
The Globe and Mail

“Her unerring ear for the way modern Americans speak, her uncanny ability to flip from belly laughs to deep unease and back again, often so fast that you have to stop and take stock of your reactions—carry the day.”
The Windsor Star 

 “Few writers so adroitly expose the nuances and absurdities of modern life as Lorrie Moore. It’s a talent on full display in “Foes,” one of eight tales in Moore’s much-anticipated new short-story collection.”
Maclean’s

“Insightful snapshots exploring post-9/11 life in the U.S. Her tales are a pithy commentary on the more irrational elements of the American psyche as the country struggles to redefine itself after the attack. . . . Full of wanting, anxiety and regret—and that makes for the best kind of story.”
Chatelaine

“Gaunt, splendid…What an irresistible bunch of characters she conjures up…We still need Lorrie Moore to work hard at making us laugh, to remind us that we’re frauds, we’re all just acting. To unzip words for us and let their sounds and meanings and pun potentialities jingle out like coins.  To point out the silver linings…She never lies to us.  She never tells us the water’s fine.  She says, Dive in anyway, “swim among the dying” while you can.  Learn how to suffer in style.”
—Parul Seghal, Bookforum
 
“The short form is her true forte.  Her talent is best exhibited in the collection’s longest stories (each around 40 pages); her comfort with that length is indicated by her careful avoidance of overplotting, which, of course, dulls the effect of an expansive short story, and by not allowing the stories to seem like the outlines of novels that never got developed.”
—Booklist (Starred Review)
 
“One of the best short story writers in America resumes her remarkable balancing act, with a  collection that is both hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes in the same paragraph…In stories both dark and wry, Moore wields a scalpel with surgical precision.”
Kirkus (Starred Review)
 
“These stories are laugh-out-loud funny, as well as full of pithy commentary on contemporary life and politics.”
Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

“The glory of Moore’s writing isn’t simply that it toys with our expectations; it is that—like life itself—it turns them on their heads and gives them a good hard shake. . . . A long time in coming, Bark is a reminder—if one was needed—that when it comes to writing stories, Moore is still ahead of the pack.”
The Star

“Untroubled, overlong, by tragedy or politics, the stories in Bark are given ample time to focus on the intriguing minutiae of fragmenting relationships . . . all couched in complex, carefully layered prose. Moore's latest cocktail is a stimulating, heady mix short-story lovers will want to get their hands on double-quick.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“It’s Moore’s variations, some subtle, some pointed, that imbue [her stories] with intriguing layers of significance. . . . [A] powerful collection about the difficulty of letting go of love.”
The Seattle Times

“Moore once again brings her acute intelligence and wit to play….The language has a fizzy rhythm that will have the reader turning the pages.  Smart, funny, and overlaid with surprising metaphor…Highly recommended.”
Library Journal (Starred Review)