Lorrie Moore


Lorrie Moore is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University and the author of the story collections Birds of America, Like Life, and Self-Help and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her new collection of stories, Bark, will be published at the end of February 2014.

  • Which Wisconsin?

    June 4, 2012

    Corruption seems to surround Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in Tuesday's recall election. Walker has a criminal defense fund already in place and rumors of indictments are in the air, regarding both his time as Milwaukee County Executive and his current use of state moneys. But many people in self-contradictory Wisconsin, the home of both the Progressive Party and of Joe McCarthy, may not care very deeply about the charges against Walker. There can be a begrudging provincial respect for someone in the national eye, as well as for the out-of-state billionaires who have helped fill Walker’s campaign coffers with $31 million—an unprecedented amount in Wisconsin political history.

  • Sassy Angel

    January 10, 2012

    The Roche-Wainwright-McGarrigle intertwinings comprise a musical family the sprawling brilliance of which has not been experienced perhaps since--well, we wonʼt say the Lizst-Wagners--but at least the Carter-Cashes. The extended family oeuvre, though varied, often has a conversational, smart-kids-at-summer-camp quality that is both folky and jokey. The Rochesʼ own wistful, clever songs are written with a sweet street spontaneity and prosody, and their clear, pure voices are like a barbershop trio of sassy angels. But most often they sound like plucky girls riding home on a school bus, making things up as they go along.

  • Werner Herzog on Death Row

    November 10, 2011

    A documentary film is often part stunt, part lab experiment, and the way a documentary filmmaker pursues his or her story will always involve a bit of amateur sleuthing, as well as improv. That such scriptless adventures have attracted a great director like Werner Herzog is curious but not alarming. Good documentary films can be made cheaply and we seem to be living in an abundantly golden--or at least copper (penny-wise)--era of them. Herzogʼs latest film, Into the Abyss, much like his 2005 documentary, Grizzly Man, uses the camera as a geiger counter to locate some of the more toxic elements of the American cultural psyche as seen through the questing mind of a pseudo-squeamish European: here the setting is small town Texas’s well-traveled road to death row.

  • Circus Elephants

    September 15, 2011

    Already in a condition of satire, the opening of the Tea Party-hosted GOP debate on Monday night in Tampa presented the eight Republican presidential candidates as good-looking characters—“The Diplomat” “The Newcomer” “The Firebrand”--who would have to battle one another off the electoral island. Music, brassy and tense, and a baritone voice-over let you know that this reality show was part of the ongoing Apocalypse Lite that has infused our television programming and made the networks almost unwatchable. There was little even Jon Stewart on his show the next evening could do to make fun of what was often comedically predigested--except to say that the red, white and blue stage looked like the inside of Betsy Rossʼs, well, sewing room. Iʼm paraphrasing.