Friday, October 09, 2009

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

I’ve just finished Birds of America and Who Will Run, and would like to stand amended on my initial hesitation at Lorrie Moore's writing style.

The voice she uses everywhere in BoA is just extraordinary – I guess I’ve evolved from “who talks that way?” to “she talks that way and just sit back and wathc it work.” She’s outrageously funny to at almost all times – even her throwaway lines are burnished. “She didn’t mind Chicago. She thought of it as a cross between London and Queens, with a dash of Cleveland.” That’s from “Willing,” about the over-the-hill movie actress who moves back to Chicago from LA and starts dating an auto mechanic named Walt. “Which is More Than I Can Say about Some People” chronicles a trip to Ireland by a mother and daughter. The daughter’s marriage is failing, and she spends the vacation watching her elderly mother open up and try new things and show great signs of life.

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