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For the journalist, please see Lori Moore
Lorrie Moore
Born Marie Lorena Moore
January 13, 1957 (1957-01-13) (age 53)
Glens Falls, New York
Occupation Short-story writer, Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1985—
Notable work(s) Birds of America (1998) Who Will Run The Frog Hospital (1994)
People Like That Are The Only People Here (short story, 1997)

Lorrie Moore (born Marie Lorena Moore on January 13, 1957 in Glens Falls, New York) is an American fiction writer known mainly for her humorous and poignant short stories.



Marie Lorena Moore was nicknamed "Lorrie" by her parents. She attended St. Lawrence University. At 19, she won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest. After graduating from St. Lawrence, she moved to Manhattan and worked as a paralegal for two years.

In 1980, Moore enrolled in Cornell University's M.F.A. program, where she was taught by Alison Lurie. Upon graduation from Cornell, she was encouraged by a teacher to contact agent Melanie Jackson. Jackson sold her collection, Self-Help, composed almost entirely of stories from her master's thesis, to Knopf in 1983. Moore was 26 years old.


She writes frequently about failing relationships and terminal illness and is known for her mordant wit and pithy one-liners. Her stories often take place in the Midwest.

Her short story collections are Self-Help, Like Life, and the New York Times bestseller Birds of America. She has contributed to The Paris Review. Her first story to appear in The New Yorker, "You're Ugly, Too," was later included in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Another story, "People Like That Are the Only People Here," also published in The New Yorker was reprinted in the 1998 edition of the annual collection The Best American Short Stories; the tale of a young child falling sick, the piece was loosely patterned on events in Moore's own life. The story was also included in the 2005 anthology Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, edited by David Sedaris.

Moore's Collected Stories was published by Faber in the UK in May 2008. It included selections from each of her previously published collections, excerpts from her novel Anagrams, and three previously uncollected stories first published in The New Yorker.

Moore's novels are Anagrams (published in 1986), Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? (1994), and A Gate at the Stairs (2009). Anagrams was optioned by Madonna for a film that was never made. A Gate at the Stairs takes place just after the September 11 attack and is about a twenty-year-old Midwestern woman's coming of age.

Moore has written a children's book entitled The Forgotten Helper about an elf whom Santa mistakenly leaves behind at the home of the worst child on his "good" list. The elf must help the child be good for the coming year so Santa will return next Christmas.

On November 1, 2008, The Guardian published a new short story by Lorrie Moore entitled "Foes."[1]


She won the 1998 O. Henry Award for her short story "People Like That Are the Only People Here," published in The New Yorker on January 27, 1997. In 2004, Moore was selected as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story, for outstanding achievement in that genre. In 2006, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Academic career

Moore is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was also profiled in the September 2009 Reader's Digest about her current readings (Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro), her current novel (A Gate at the Stairs), her Internet usage (Wikipedia), her listenings (Al Green, Joni Mitchell, and Tuck & Patti), and her television habits (Mark Shields, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart. Eugene Robinson, and Rachel Maddow). Moore's view of Life and Literature is "Life is a cornfield, but literature is that shot of whiskey that's been distilled down".[2]



Short Stories

  • (1985) Self Help; ISBN 0446671924
  • (1990) Like Life; ISBN 0375719164
  • (1998) Birds of America; ISBN 0312241224
  • (2008) The Collected Stories; ISBN 9780571239344

Children's Books

  • (1987) The Forgotten Helper; ISBN 0440416809


  • (1986) Anagrams; ISBN 0307277283
  • (1994) Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?; ISBN 1400033829
  • (2009) A Gate at the Stairs


  1. ^ Foes: A New Story by Lorrie Moore
  2. ^ "What I'm Up To: Lorrie Moore". Reader Digest. September 2009. p. 26.

External links


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