Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:â??Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquialâ?¦. Stand[s] by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.â?ť â??The New York Times Book Review The celebrated collection of twelve stories from one of the finest authors at work today. A New York Times Book of the Year A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist Winner of the Salon Book Award A Village Voice Book of the Year â??A marvelous collectionâ?¦. Her stories are tough, lean, funny, and metaphysicalâ?¦. Birds of America has about it a wild beauty that simply makes one feel more connected to life.â?ť â??The Boston Globe â??At once sad, funny, lyrical and prickly, Birds of America attests to the deepening emotional chiaroscuro of her wise and beguiling work.â?ť â??The New York Times â??Stunningâ?¦. Thereâ??s really no one like Moore; in a perfect marriage of art form and mind, she has made the short story her own.â?ť â??Milwaukee Journal Sentinel â??Birds of America stands as a major work of American short fictionâ?¦. Absolutely mastered.â?ť â??Elle â??Wonderfulâ?¦. These stories impart such terrifying truths.â?ť â??Philadelphia Inquirer â??Lorrie Moore soars with Birds of America.... A marvelous, fiercely funny book.â?ť â??Newsweek â??Fifty years from now, it may well turn out that the work of very few American writers has as much to say about what it means t
For sheer poignancy, perhaps, â€śPeople Like That Are the Only People Hereâ€ť stands out. An infant boy is diagnosed with a Wilmsâ€™ tumor and we follow the distraught parents from diagnosis to operation to exit from the paediatric oncology ward of the hospital. What might be mere heart-tugging emotion is transformed by Moore into a study of regard, self-regard, otherness and narrative involvement. Astounding.
It is, however, â€śDance in Americaâ€ť that is by far the most impressive story here. An aging dancer transitioning from performance to dance education visits an old college friend, whom she has not seen in twelve years, when she is asked to give some educational workshops in the town where he lives. She is life-weary, disappointed in herself and others, and uncertain about the worth of her new endeavours. Her friend and his wife have a young son, Eugene, who is suffering from cystic fibrosis. Eugene is vibrant, creative, funny and full of life, though without sufficient breath to fully partake. The interactions between the four characters are subtle and gentle and donâ€™t amount to much. But by the end, both the protagonist and the reader are challenged to shake their hands at fate, at the universe, at whatever, and defiantly shout, â€śThis is it!â€ť It is a remarkable short story. One of the best Iâ€™ve ever read.
There are many other stories here worth mentioning. Instead, Iâ€™ll just note that Mooreâ€™s linguistic wit abounds across these tales. That has the effect of making the stories seem lighter, even less substantial, than they are. Donâ€™t be fooled. This is the real thing. Highly recommended.
My favorite story was "Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People", about a grown daughter who books a flight to Ireland as an escape from her problems, only to find that her mother decides to go too.
So far, this is my favorite collection. Moore is funny and witty, and still serious and real. Most "literary" fiction is deathly serious, usually killing off a character. This collection shows that stories can have impact and meaning without pulling out the cancer or the gun. I look forward to reading more of her work.
not a fan of the beginning stories, but I'm starting to like it a lot more
some of the descriptions fall flat but some are wonderful like this one from "Beautiful Grade": "...her eyes bare and round as lightbulbs"
June 30: finally finished. My favorites were
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
"Four Calling Birds..." -
Aileen mourns the death of her cat, Bert. She has him cremated and sees a therapist to
"People Like That..." -
Despite the fact everyone in this story is nameless, this one is even sadder than "Four Calling Birds". "Peed Onk" is actually "pediatric oncology." Parents of a baby boy are faced with his cancer diagnosis. A child having such a serious illness seems unfathomable.
I find Moore to be a clever writer, and I appreciated her cleverness much more in these short stories than I did in her longer work.
When I saw the title of this book, I assumed it would be about birds in some way. Well, some kind of bird or fowl was slightly mentioned in each story but that was it. Leaves me wondering why it's called Birds of America.
These short stories are well written but the plots were just not that interesting to me.