A Gate at the Stairs

Lorrie Moore, whose short-story collections (Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Birds of America: Stories) are known for wit that sparkles and bites, has earned book-of-the-year status for her recent novel A Gate at the Stairs. Here again she excels with prose that projects barbs of humor from the point of view of heroine Tassie Keltjin. Tassie skewers both the provincial town that she’s from (the local restaurant features “cheese curd meatloaf and steak ‘cooked to your likeness’”) and the liberal city where she is attending college. (The author teaches English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.)


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