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Monday, June 05, 2017

Like Life (1990) by Lorrie Moore


Book Review
Like Life (1990)
by Lorrie Moore

  It's the 90's, people!  I was born in 1976, and by 1990 I was starting high school and reading the kind of books you would expect a precocious teenager in the Bay Area to read:  Mostly the Beats, the French existentialists,  Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and "new" journalism.  I read... the New Yorker, my parents had a subscription. I never read the fiction in the New Yorker- I still don't- I'm just not a huge short story guy (Like Life is a collection of short stories) and it appears that my sentiments were shared by the editors of the 1001 Books project.  Fewer than ten titles in the 1001 Books list to date have been short story collections.   Lorrie Moore may be it, now that I think about it.

  I think, personally, that people are going to be revisiting the time immediately before the digital/computer/cell phone revolution of the past decade.  In Like Life, Moore is writing about "now" (several of her stories appear to be set in the near future, where global warming and climate change lurk in the back ground.  But, I can already say that I am tired of sad white folks.  Whether they be English, American or Australian, Scottish, Irish, Canadian or South African.  Rich or poor, living now or in the past, I am tired of them and their problems.   Boo hoo, I say.

  In a sense, that is also my demographic, but it's like, I don't want to read endless fiction about sad yuppies (or sad working class) Americans living in LA or New York, or, as some of the characters in this book are, the Midwest.  In fact, I think Moore is here as a representative of fiction written by Midwestern authors, so in that sense, maybe she is someone I should be reading carefully.  Perhaps she is a muse of the Reagan Democrats and Trump voters of Wisconsin and Michigan. 

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