09 September 2009


I'm currently reading Lorrie Moore's Self-Help and it's very hard to put down in the middle of a story. I love her prose - it's hard and sharp and clean-edged. I don't know how I would feel about reading a whole novel of prose like that - it might be like a visit to the chandelier factory. But the short stories are just the thing.

It reminds me of Elizabeth Stroud's Olive Kitteredge in that it centers largely on the female experience of the world*. Moore is almost aggressive in leaving men out of most of the stories (the ones I've read so far, anyway). Since the male experience, gaze, mindset are the primary lens for in the vast majority of the 'literary' books I have read in my life, reading these stories is almost like visiting Mrs Piggle-Wiggle's upside down house.

* still a white, middle-class experience of the world, but I'll take what I can get at the moment

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