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    The Powell's Playlist | February 27, 2015

    Kazuo Ishiguro: IMG Kazuo Ishiguro's Playlist for The Buried Giant

    The eight songs on this playlist didn't "inspire" The Buried Giant, nor did I play them out loud while writing. And with the notable exception of... Continue »
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      The Buried Giant

      Kazuo Ishiguro 9780307271037

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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Birds of America


Birds of America Cover


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Bethany Dotson, December 4, 2012 (view all comments by Bethany Dotson)
One of the best collections of short stories that I've read in a very, very long time.

Moore neatly, perfectly, succinctly packages life into small incidents and moments, conveying a sense of disillusionment, abandonment, and isolation that surrounds all her characters. I found myself wondering if Moore hadn't lived some of these moments, because it seems fantastic to me that she would know so intimately, be able to convey so perfectly, the pain of a baby with cancer, the ex-pat.

Strangely, I found myself reading Ethan Frome and other Stories by Edith Wharton, and being stunned by the similarity in themes and everyday tragedy.

My favorite quote from the book sums this up better than I can myself, speaking of how life sometimes pushes the bounds of believable fiction:

“But this is the kind of thing that fiction is: it's the unlivable life, the strange room tacked onto the house, the extra moon that is circling the earth unbeknownst to science.”
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Elliott, May 26, 2009 (view all comments by Elliott)
This book has now joined the list of my favorite books. These stories show that Moore has not only a sense of humor but a real love of words. She can be insightful, heartbreaking, hilarious, and always uniquely original. Along with Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant, Lorrie Moore is one of the best modern short story writers.
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Product Details

Moore, Lorrie
Picador USA
New York :
United states
Short Stories (single author)
United States Social life and customs.
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
September 1999
Grade Level:
8.32x5.65x.80 in. .60 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Birds of America Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 291 pages Picador USA - English 9780312241223 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

When friends tell me to pick a book for them to read that I really like, this is the one I give most often. Brilliant, wacko, kooky, sharp short stories from one of my favorite writers.

"Review" by , "Lorrie Moore has something that many writers of her generation don't have: She is truly odd . . . [But] Moore's stories don't leave us in the solitary confinement that oddity can create, the way Diane Arbus did in her photographs, or Flannery O'Connor in her stories. They are the dance halls and constellations in which eccentricity becomes uniqueness."
"Review" by , "These are memorable and absorbing stories."
"Review" by , "Lorrie Moore's wonderful Birds of America should establish her as one of America's best short-story writers . . . These stories impart such terrifying truths."
"Review" by , "A fine collection...the reader will be forever susceptible to seeing absurdity everywhere."
"Review" by , "Lorrie Moore's reputation as one of the country's most engaging writers of short fiction will be confirmed with this new collection...prose bristles with precisely observed detail; her insights are both sharp and complex...rant...ued with acid wit and humane insight."
"Review" by , "The humor of Birds of America does more than make us laugh...[Moore] skirts around the emotions and decision which her tales hinge, and for that reason her characters' blind spots and realizations are all the more nuanced."
"Review" by , "Lorrie Moore soars with Birds of America...A marvelous, fiercely funny book about great and tiny jolts of the heart, about the push and pull of relationships, about the way loved ones, slowly or suddenly, become unrecognizable . . . One of her generation's wittiest and shrewdest writers."
"Review" by , "Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial, Moore's sentences hold, even startle...Birds of America, while often lighthearted and steadily hilarious, is a sublimely dark book...Her most potent work so far...[it] will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability."
"Review" by , "A marvelous collection, deeper than anything Moore has written and yet underscored by that trademark humor in the face of familiar awfulness. Her stories are tough, lean, funny, and metaphysical...Birds of America has about it a wild beauty that simply makes one feel more connected to life."
"Review" by , "One could be trapped in an elevator with people like Moore's men, or especially her women, and feel the luckier for it."
"Review" by , "Moore peers into America's loneliest perches, but her delicate touch turns absurdity into a warming vitality."
"Review" by , "At once sad, funny, lyrical and prickly, Birds of America attests to the deepening emotional chiaroscuro of her wise and beguiling work."
"Review" by , "Her depth of focus has increased, and with it her emotional seriousness...wise...[and] exciting."
"Review" by , "Her richest work to date...These new stories sparkle; they are keenly and poignantly mindful of the idioms, banalities and canards of contemporary American society, and they hum with Moore's earmark droll and incisive banter, her astonishing ability to render the intricacy of character in a few sharply focused details."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of Self-Help comes a bestselling collection of 12 stories which unfold a series of portraits of the lost and unsettled of America.
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