These humorous and poignant tales of lovers, loneliness, and never-quite-belonging, delivered in her characteristically knowing, wry voice, confirm Lorrie Moore as a master of the short story form. Self-Help, Like Life, Birds of America and Bark, her four acclaimed collections, are all here, and for good measure so too are a handful of stories excerpted from the novels Anagrams, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and The Gate at the Stairs. But at the author's request, the order of play is gloriously random: 'I didn't want this Everyman's volume to be one that simply glued all the books together in the obvious sequential order,' she writes. 'I wanted instead to let the magical alphabet set individual stories side by side in an otherwise unexpected and unchronological way so that friction or frost might occur: they could jostle and rap and spark or repel .... It might all be like a playlist set to shuffle ...' So, a joyous new discovery for first-time readers and for Moore fans, a multitude of new angles from which to view her incomparable ouevre.
Lorrie Moore is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor English at Vanderbilt University, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She has published four short-story collections - Self-Help (1985) Like Life (1990), Birds of America (1998) and Bark (2014), three novels, Anagrams (1986), Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994) and A Gate at the Stairs (2009) and a book of essays, See What Can Be Done (2018). Amongst her many literary awards are the Irish Times International Prize for Literature and the Rea Award for the Short Story,
Lauren Groff is a two-time National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia and Fates and Furies, and two short story collections, Delicate Edible Birds and Florida. She has won The Story Prize and been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work regularly appears in the New Yorker, the Atlantic and elsewhere, and she was named one of Granta's 2017 Best Young American Novelists.