Gate at the Stairs (Moore)

Author Bio
Birth—January 13, 1957
Where—Glens Falls, New York, USA
Education—B.A., St. Lawrence University; M.F.A., Cornell
Awards—O. Henry Award; Rea Award for the Short Story;
  member, American Academy of Arts & Letters.
Currently—lives in Wisconsin

Lorrie Moore is the author of the story collections Like Life, Birds of America, and Self-Help, as well as her novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?, Anagrams, and most currently, A Gate at the Stairs. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. (From the publisher.)

Marie Lorena Moore ("Lorrie") is an American fiction writer, known for her humorous and poignant short stories and her novels.

She attended St. Lawrence University. At 19, she won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest. 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. Upon graduation from Cornell, a teacher encouraged her 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. Moore was 26 years old.

Her short story collections are Self Help, Like Life, and Birds of America, which became a New York Times bestseller. She has contributed to the Paris Review, and 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," was reprinted in the annual collection The Best American Short Stories; the tale of a young child falling sick, it 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. She writes frequently about failing relationships and terminal illness and is known for her mordant wit and pithy one-liners. Her stories often take place in the Midwest.

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

Moore's novels are Anagrams (1986), Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), and A Gate at the Stairs (2009). Anagrams was optioned for film by Madonna for a film that was never made. A Gate at the Stairs takes place just after the September 11 attack and is about a twenty-year-old Midwestern woman's coming of age.

Moore has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper. It concerns an elf whom Santa 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.

On November 1, 2008 The Guardian published a new short story by Lorrie Moore entitled "Foes."

Moore is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was also profiled in the September 2009 Reader's Digest about her current readings (Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro), her current novel, A Gate at the Stairs, her Internet usage (Wikipedia), her listenings (Al Green, Joni Mitchell, and Tuck & Patti), and her television habits (Mark Shields, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart. Eugene Robinson, and Rachel Maddow). Moore's view of Life and Literature is "Life is a cornfield, but literature is that shot of whiskey that's been distilled down.

Moore has won a number of literary awards: 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 2004, Moore was selected as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre. In 2006, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. (From Wikipedia.)

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