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A Gate at the Stairs: A Novel

Moore, Lorrie

15,551 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375409289 / ISBN 13: 9780375409288
Published by Alfred A Knopf, 2009
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Full cloth binding in cream, gilt titles. Flatsigned on title page. College town drama by the author of Birds of America. Unread as new in like DJ.321 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 10049

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Gate at the Stairs: A Novel

Publisher: Alfred A Knopf

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


In a recent talk, Lorrie Moore suggested that 20 is "the universal age of passion" -- the point at which the unique shape and expression of our feelings like love and disgust and fury becomes fixed. It is also, she observed, the perceptual halfway point of most people's existence. Our first two decades seem to pass as slowly as the whole of the rest of our lives, according to scientists, so that our early experiences carry vastly more psychic weight than those of adulthood. It's interesting to consider the impact of Moore's own work by this metric, and not only because A Gate at the Stairs is narrated by a 20-year-old. Since the publication of her first collection, Self-Help, in 1985, so many readers have identified with Moore's witty, cynical, and yearning failed-relationship stories at a similarly impressionable stage that her writing has become as formative an influence on American fiction as her hero John Updike's was in an earlier era.


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 Nissley

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