“There is never anything conclusive, just an endless series of tests.”
-Lorrie Moore. “How,” Self-Help.
Thus writ the only woman (or man) I can tolerate writing at me in the second person.
Self-Help makes my third set of ravenously devoured short fiction collections by Lorrie Moore. I remain slack jawed, sore-hearted, admiring and astounded. One of my next full(er) blog posts shall doubtless be a paean to Moore’s talent and perspicacity. With deft humor, heartbreaking lucidity and resonantly right descriptions of feelings, meltdowns, love-loss-beauty-andbarbarism she reflects the world in exactly the way it feels. I’ve never known another author to have such a realistic, uncompromising and clarifying grip on the gritty, ineffable things that make us human–and often drive us farther out of feeling that way.
I suggest you go to Amazon and buy one (or all) of her collections. I suggest you start with Birds of America, the most recent addition to the family. I suggest when you get to the part about the tattered last Christmas tree with the tired cigarette but dangling from its figurative lips, you come talk to me and we both laugh and sigh and have a mutual brown knit and an “oh.” Thank god for fiction and for art’s (and the talented artist’s) capacity to explain that which seems overwhelming and inexplicable.
I’ll be gone from the blogosphere a lot for the next few days. Those of you who know why, know. Those of you who don’t know why and want to know, inquire within. I’m not purposely secretive, just… protective. 😉
To keep you entertained while I’m gone, read an awesome Moore interview here, or go check out her newest short story, titled “Foes,” here–courtesy of The Guardian. Or flick the bean. That’s always a viable entertainment option. ’til soon, dear internetz.