Lorrie Moore Quotes
“Cold men destroy women,” my mother wrote me years later. “They woo them with something personable that they bring out for show, something annexed to their souls like a fake greenhouse, lead you in, and you think you see life and vitality and sun and greenness, and then when you love them, they lead you out into their real soul, a drafty, cavernous, empty ballroom, inexorably arched and vaulted and mocking you with its echoes—you hear all you have sacrificed, all you have given, landing with a loud clunk. They lock the greenhouse and you are as tiny as a figure in an architect’s drawing, a faceless splotch, a blur of stick limbs abandoned in some voluminous desert of stone.”
“[Her life] had taken on the shape of a terrible mistake. She hadn't been given the proper tools to make a real life with, she decided, that was it. She'd been given a can of gravy and a hair-brush and told, "There you go." She'd stood there for years, blinking and befuddled, brushing the can with the brush.”
“When you find out who you are, you will no longer be innocent. That will be sad for others to see. All that knowledge will show on your face and change it. But sad only for others, not for yourself. You will feel you have a kind of wisdom, very mistaken, but a mistake of some power to you and so you will sadly treasure it and grow it.”
“You couldn't pretend you had lost nothing... you had to begin there, not let your blood freeze over. If your heart turned away at this, it would turn away at something greater, then more and more until your heart stayed averted, immobile, your imagination redistributed away from the world and back only toward the bad maps of yourself, the sour pools of your own pulse, your own tiny, mean, and pointless wants.”
“I tried not to think about my life. I did not have any good solid plans for it long-term - no bad plans either, no plans at all - and the lostness of that, compared with the clear ambitions of my friends (marriage, children, law school), sometimes shamed me. Other times in my mind I defended such a condition as morally and intellectually superior - my life was open and ready and free - but that did not make it less lonely.”
“Wake up one morning with a man you had thought you'd spend your life with, and realize, a rock in your gut, that you don't even like him. Spend a weepy afternoon in his bathroom, not coming out when he knocks. You can no longer trust your affections. People and places you think you love may be people and places you hate.”
“Start dating someone who is funny, someone who has what in high school you called a "really great sense of humor" and what now your creative writing class calls "self-contempt giving rise to comic form." Write down all of his jokes, but don't tell him you are doing this. Make up anagrams of his old girlfriend's name and name all of your socially handicapped characters with them. Tell him his old girlfriend is in all of your stories and then watch how funny he can be, see what a really great sense of humor he can have.”
- Date of birth: January 13, 1957
- Born: in Glens Falls, New York, The United States.
- Description: Lorrie Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1957. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she tutored on an Indian reservation, and was editor of the university literary magazine and, at age 19, won Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Contest. After graduating summa cum laude, she worked in New York for two years before going on to received a Masters in Fine Arts from Cornell University.
Over the course of the last two decades Lorrie Moore has earned a place among the finest writers in this country by exploring the lives of modern women and men, many of them in the Midwest, as they confront the often absurd indignities of ordinary life, most particularly the quest for love and companionship. Her short stories have charted this territory with unfailing intelligence, an almost miraculous wit, and remarkable depth of feeling. Her prose is at once supple and sharp, hilarious and heartrending, and it has come to constitute an unmistakable prose style all her own. Like all great writers, she has managed to bring the pathos of her characters down into the very grammar of her sentences, and as a result her mature work has a generous, open, pellucid quality and a wonderful unexpectedness. It is the work of a writer who has mastered her art. Lorrie Moore’s stories are gifts, for her hard won, no doubt, but for her readers, pure pleasure.
She has been a Professor at the University of Wisconsin since 1984, where she is currently Delmore Schwartz Professor in the Humanities.
Her most recent, A Gate at the Stairs, was published in September, 2009. It was a New York Times bestseller, and was named by the publication one of the year's best books.