Know Moore

I only recently delved into the works of the remarkable writer Lorrie Moore, who has won honors from the likes of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and awards including the PEN/Malamud. While her short stories deliver breathtaking insight and a marvelous comic touch, she also has the ability to extend her reach. I just finished reading her new novel “A Gate At The Stairs,” and it shook me to the core.

Moore can be hilarious and heartbreaking in the same paragraph, sometimes in the space of one sentence. In general, I think there’s far too much heartbreak in the world to go out of my way to encounter it in fiction, but Moore sugars the path with treats such as this week’s Great Sentence:

“Sarah’s cell phone played the beginning to ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik,’ its vigorous twang not unlike a harpsichord at all, and so not completely offensive to the spirit of Mozart, who perhaps did not, like so many of his colleagues, have to roll about as much in his grave since the advent of electronic things.”

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