A Gate at the Stairs (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
American author Lorrie Moore has earned an enthusiastic following primarily for her short stories, which have appeared in many well-respected periodicals, as well as in three collections: Self-Help (1985), Like Life (1990), and especially the highly acclaimed Birds of America (1998). Her novels, Anagrams (1986) and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), were also well received by critics and readers alike. Though Moore has never been considered a particularly prolific writer, the gap of eleven years between her previous book and this one was unusually long, so the novel A Gate at the Stairs was a source of much speculation in literary circles before its release. Most reviewers of the book commented on this fact, introducing the novel with phrases such as “much-anticipated” or “long-awaited.” The waiting ended with a novel whose plot, characters, and themes are as rich and complex as any the author has produced before.
A Gate at the Stairs is set mostly in the fictional town of Troy, Wisconsin, which most readers interpret as a thinly disguised version of Madison, where Moore has lived and taught at the university since 1984. Moore has written in the past about Americans displaced within their own country, often serving as keen, if somewhat bemused, observers of the new places in which they find themselves. Perhaps never before, though, has setting been so important to one of...
(The entire section is 1717 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 21 (July 1, 2009): 9.
Harper’s Magazine 319, no. 1912 (September, 2009): 85-90.
Library Journal 134, no. 13 (August 1, 2009): 70-71.
London Review of Books 31, no. 22 (November 19, 2009): 31-32.
The Nation 289, no. 21 (December 21, 2009): 35-40.
New Statesman 138, no. 4968 (September 28, 2009): 60.
New York Review of Books 56, no. 19 (December 3, 2009): 54-55.
The New York Times, August 28, 2009, p. 21.
The New York Times Book Review, August 30, 2009, p1.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 28 (July 13, 2009): 31.
The Spectator 311, no. 9447 (September 19, 2009): 37-38.
The Times Literary Supplement, October 16, 2009, p. 19-20.
The Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2009, p. W13.
(The entire section is 75 words.)