Lorrie Moore

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Lorrie Moore
Lorrie Moore.JPG
Born Marie Lorena Moore
(1957-01-13) January 13, 1957 (age 61)
Glens Falls, New York, US
Occupation Short-story writer, Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1985–present
Notable works Who Will Run The Frog Hospital (1994)

Birds of America (1998)
A Gate at the Stairs (2009)

Bark (2014)

Lorrie Moore (born Marie Lorena Moore; January 13, 1957) is an American fiction writer known mainly for her humorous and poignant short stories.


Marie Lorena Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York, and nicknamed "Lorrie" by her parents. She attended St. Lawrence University. At 19, she won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest.[1] The story, "Raspberries," was published in January, 1977. After graduating from St. Lawrence, she moved to Manhattan and worked as a paralegal for two years.

In 1980, Moore enrolled in Cornell University's M.F.A. program, where she was taught by Alison Lurie.[2] Upon graduation from Cornell, Moore was encouraged by a teacher to contact agent Melanie Jackson. Jackson sold her collection, Self-Help, composed almost entirely of stories from her master's thesis, to Knopf in 1983.[2]


Short stories

Her short story collections are Self-Help (1985), Like Life, the New York Times bestseller Birds of America, and Bark. She has contributed to The Paris Review. Her first story to appear in The New Yorker, "You're Ugly, Too," was later included in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Another story, "People Like That Are the Only People Here," also published in The New Yorker, was reprinted in the 1998 edition of the annual collection The Best American Short Stories; the tale of a young child falling sick, the piece was loosely patterned on events in Moore's own life. The story was also included in the 2005 anthology Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, edited by David Sedaris.

Moore's Collected Stories was published by Faber in the UK in May 2008. It included all the stories in each of her previously published collections, excerpts from her novel Anagrams, and three previously uncollected stories first published in The New Yorker.

Moore's latest collection Bark was published in 2014.[3]


Moore's novels are Anagrams (1986), Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), and A Gate at the Stairs (2009). Who Will Run the Frog Hospital is the story of a woman vacationing with her husband who recalls an intense friendship from her adolescence. A Gate at the Stairs takes place just after the September 11 attack and is about a 20-year-old Midwestern woman's coming of age.

Children's books

Moore has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper, about an elf whom Santa Claus mistakenly leaves behind at the home of the worst child on his "good" list. The elf must help the child be good for the coming year so Santa will return next Christmas.


Moore writes occasionally about books, films, and television for The New York Review of Books.[4] A collection of her essays, criticism and comment was published by Knopf as See What Can Be Done in April 2018.[5]

Academic career

Moore was the Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught creative writing for 30 years. She joined the faculty there in 1984[6] and left to join the faculty at Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2013.[7]

She has also taught at Cornell University, as the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, and at the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan, as well as at Princeton and NYU.[8][9][10]


Short stories

  • 1985 – Self-Help; ISBN 0-446-67192-4
  • 1990 – Like Life; ISBN 0-375-71916-4
  • 1998 – Birds of America; ISBN 0-312-24122-4
  • 2008 – The Collected Stories; ISBN 978-0-571-23934-4
  • 2014 – Bark; ISBN 0-307-59413-0


Children's books



Moore won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story "People Like That Are the Only People Here," published in The New Yorker on January 27, 1997. In 1999, Moore was named as the winner of The Irish Times International Fiction Prize for Birds of America.[11] In 2004, she was selected as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre.

She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006, and is a fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.[12] In 2008, she delivered Oxford University's annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters at the university's Rothermere American Institute. Her 2009 novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and for the Orange Prize for Fiction.[13] Bark was shortlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award[14] and was a finalist for The Story Prize.[15]


  1. ^ Kelly, Alison (2009). Understanding Lorrie Moore. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-57003-823-5. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, pp. 2
  3. ^ "Book review: Lorrie Moore's 'Bark' looks at bitter disappointments of relationships". Washington Post. February 24, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  4. ^ "Contributors: Lorrie Moore". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "Book Marks reviews of See What Can Be Done by Lorrie Moore". bookmarks.reviews. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  6. ^ Vidich, Paul. "Lorrie Moore: An Interview", Narrative Magazine, June 2009. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  7. ^ Charles McGrath,, "Lorrie Moore’s New Book Is a Reminder and a Departure", New York Times, February 17, 2014. Accessed February 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Crawford, Franklin. "Author Lorrie Moore returns to accept CU alumni artist award", Cornell Chronicle, 2004-12-09. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  9. ^ Kelly, p. 166
  10. ^ "Recent Visitors to the MFA Program", University of Michigan. Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  11. ^ Winners of the Irish Times International Fiction Award. http://facstaff.unca.edu/moseley/irish.html Archived November 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Wisconsin Academy Fellows : Lorrie Moore Archived July 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., accessed October 2, 2010.
  13. ^ Marjorie Kehe, "Three "beautiful" Orange Prize finalists," Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2010, accessed October 2, 2010.
  14. ^ Alison Flood (13 June 2014). "Frank O'Connor prize shortlist pits 'masters' against first-timers". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "TSP". Retrieved May 27, 2016.

External links

  • "About Lorrie Moore: A Profile" Ploughshares (Fall 1998)
  • Salon interview (1998)
  • Elizabeth Gaffney (Spring–Summer 2001). "Lorrie Moore, The Art of Fiction No. 167". The Paris Review.
  • The Believer interview (2005)
  • Interview with Lorrie Moore, Lewis Burke Frumkes Radio Show (October 2009)
  • Interview for KCRW's Bookworm (October 22, 2009)
  • “Words, Wit, & Wild Hearts: A Conversation with Author Lorrie Moore”, On Wisconsin (Spring 2010)
  • Moore's essays for The New York Review of Books
  • Archive of Moore's writings for The New Yorker.
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