In her best-selling story collection, Birds of America (“[it] will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability” —James McManus, front page of The New York Times Book Review), Lorrie Moore wrote about the disconnect between men and women, about the precariousness of women on the edge, and about loneliness and loss.
Now, in her dazzling new novel—her first in more than a decade—Moore turns her eye on the anxiety and disconnection of post-9/11 America, on the insidiousness of racism, the blind-sidedness of war, and the recklessness thrust on others in the name of love.
As the United States begins gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, the Midwestern daughter of a gentleman hill farmer—his “Keltjin potatoes” are justifiably famous—has come to a university town as a college student, her brain on fire with Chaucer, Sylvia Plath, Simone de Beauvoir.
Between semesters, she takes a job as a part-time nanny.
The family she works for seems both mysterious and glamorous to her, and although Tassie had once found children boring, she comes to care for, and to protect, their newly adopted little girl as her own.
As the year unfolds and she is drawn deeper into each of these lives, her own life back home becomes ever more alien to her: her parents are frailer; her brother, aimless and lost in high school, contemplates joining the military. Tassie finds herself becoming more and more the stranger she felt herself to be, and as life and love unravel dramatically, even shockingly, she is forever changed.
This long-awaited new novel by one of the most heralded writers of the past two decades is lyrical, funny, moving, and devastating; Lorrie Moore’s most ambitious book to date—textured, beguiling, and wise.
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Lorrie Moore's people are jokesters, wisenheimers. They hold the world, and the language used to describe it, a little off to the side, where they can turn it around and, if not figure it out, at least find something funny to say about it, which, often, is not quite enough. It's been 11 years since her last book, 15 since her last novel, but A Gate at the Stairs is vintage Moore: brittly witty and lurkingly dark, the portrait of a Midwest college town through the eyes of Tassie Keltjin, a student from the country whose mind has been lit up by learning but who spends nearly all this story out of class, as a nanny for a couple who have adopted a toddler. Tassie's a bit of a toddler herself (and an ideal narrator because of it), testing the world as if through her teeth, and she finds the world stranger and more deeply wounded the more she learns of it. Her investigations make A Gate at the Stairs sad, hilarious, and thrillingly necessary. --Tom NissleyAbout the Author:
Lorrie Moore is the author of the story collections Birds of America, Like Life, and Self-Help and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her work has won honors from the Lannan Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, and the PEN/Malamud Award. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
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Book Description Knopf, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000487161
Book Description Knopf, U.S.A., 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. Dust Jacket Condition: Like New. First Edition. First Edition. Book is new, unread!. Bookseller Inventory # 011495
Book Description Alfred A Knopf Inc, New York, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. This book is in fine condition. The dust jacket is also in fine condition and is in new clear protective covering. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Fiction. Bookseller Inventory # 031771
Book Description Knopf, New York, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine. First Edition - First Printing. First edition, first printing with First Edition state and no subsequent printings shown, as called for. A very fine and unread copy in a very fine dust jacket, now in a clear removable protective cover. Opened only for the author to sign. A New York Times Best Book of the Year, one of five works of fiction so selected. SIGNED by Lorrie Moore on the title page and dated Sept '09, the month of publication. Not inscribed, price clipped or otherwise marked. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 010940
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Moore, Lorrie. A GATE AT THE STAIRS. NY: Alfred A Knopf, c2009. 6th printing. 322pp. 8vo. New hardcover copy with as new d/j. Bookseller Inventory # 81679
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Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, First Printing. SIGNED - Octavo. Cream colored boards and spine with shiny platinum foil lettering on the spine. Signed by the author in black pen on a special tip-in page bound into the front of the book by the publisher just after the free front endpaper. 322 pages. This book has no discernable flaws. This is a new book that has never been read, but there is a nearly unnoticable trace of rubbing on the very tips of the two front corners of the dust jacket. A very nice signed first. Signed by the Author. Bookseller Inventory # 001351
Book Description Knopf, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0375409289
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Book Description Knopf, U.S.A., 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First Edition/First Printing, SIGNED by the author on a tipped in page bound by the publisher. The book is new and in a mylar cover. All of our books are selected and shipped in a box by a discriminating collector. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 000113