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Friday, January 13, 2023

'A kind of biopsy of human life'


“A story is a kind of biopsy of human life. A story is both local, specific, small, and deep, in a kind of penetrating, layered, and revealing way.” – Lorrie Moore

Marie Lorena Moore, born on this date in 1957, is best known for her humorous and poignant short stories including the New York Times bestseller "Birds of America."

The winner of numerous awards, Moore's story "You're Ugly, Too" was included in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by novelist John Updike.   Moore also won an O. Henry Award for "People Like That Are the Only People Here" about a sick child and loosely based on events in her own life.

At one point she said she also thought about being a dancer.  But, writing interfered.  
 “To me, writing is much freer than dancing. With writing, you could do it whenever you 
     wanted.  You didn't have to do little exercises and stay in shape. You could have great moments of inspiration that advanced the story.    In dance, unless you're going to choreograph things yourself, you're at the service of someone else."
She is also a nonfiction writer, essayist and novelist.  Her novel A Gate at the Stairs was a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize.

“Writing," Moore said,  "has to be an obsession - it's only for those who say, 'I'm not going to do anything else.'”

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