Biography

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Lorrie Moore, born Marie Lorena Moore on February 13, 1957 in Glens Falls, New York, was the second of four children. The daughter of an insurance executive and a former nurse turned housewife, Moore excelled in her studies and earned a Regents scholarship, which allowed her to enter St. Lawrence University early. While at St. Lawrence, Moore was the recipient of a Paul L. Wolfe Memorial Prize for literature and was also awarded First Prize in a Seventeen magazine short story contest for her story, ‘‘Raspberries.’’ She graduated summa cum laude from St. Lawrence in 1978.

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After a brief stint as a paralegal in Manhattan, Moore entered the master of fine arts program at Cornell University in 1980. Over the next few years, Moore saw several of her stories accepted by such national publications as Ms, Fiction International, and Story Quarterly. In 1983, Moore sent her collection Self-Help, which comprised her master’s thesis, to Melanie Jackson, the literary agent of Alison Lurie, one of Moore’s teachers at Cornell. Jackson in turn sent the manuscript to Knopf, which immediately bought the collection and published it to rave reviews in 1985.

Moore has been the recipient of several major awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1989, an O. Henry Award in 1998, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. In addition to Self–Help, Moore has published two novels, namely Anagrams (1986) and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital (1994), a juvenile novel titled The Forgotten Helper (1987), and two other collections of short stories, which are Like Life (1990) and Birds of America (1998). Moore was also the editor of I Know Some Things: Stories about Childhood by Contemporary Writers. Since 1984, Moore has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she holds the Delmore Schwartz Professorship in the Humanities.

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