The first book-length critical approach to the fiction of the award-winning author of Birds of America
Understanding Lorrie Moore is a comprehensive companion to the works of this wickedly humorous writer, whose fiction shows a deep sensitivity to the dynamics of contemporary gender relations and an abiding interest in portraying and critiquing the American national character. The recipient of the 1998 O. Henry Award and the 2004 Rea Award for the Short Story, Lorrie Moore is best known for her short fiction. Alison Kelly shows that Moore's virtuosic prose, wry humor, and sense of irony are tools for registering how Americans face the discomfort of their daily lives as individuals and as a nation.
Kelly traces Moore's emergence as a writer in the 1980s and her artistic development up to the present day, illuminating the distinctive narrative methods, aesthetics, and thematic preoccupations of Moore's major works. Kelly follows Moore's recurrent characters, situations, metaphors, and motifs in order to promote understanding of the texts and appreciation for their wordplay, wit, and imagery. Viewing her subject as a subtly political writer, Kelly discusses Moore's major themes, techniques, and stylistics as evidence that her characters' private pains are symptomatic of a wider national malaise.
Alison Kelly teaches in the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Reading and holds an M.A. and a B.A. from the University of Oxford. In 2007–08 she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.
"…establishes the standard for what a cricial analysis should seek to accomplish [and] addresses exactly what such an analysis should be: the recurring situations, characters, settings, themes, motifs, and styles that dominate Moore's narratives. Highly remmended. All readers."—Choice