Saturday, March 13, 2010


I admire writers who can make me laugh, because I don't laugh easily. Writers who make me guffaw are even more rare. Moore did it several times in this story collection. Sometimes I laughed at the antics of her characters, but more often I laughed in delight at her peculiar and imaginative similes.

Even more than writers who make me laugh, I admire those who can blend humor with the bleakest despair. Moore is a master at following a belly-laugh with a shocked gasp. I thought Self Help was a pretty good collection: with the exception of a couple too-long pieces in the second half, Birds of America is an exceptional collection of fine short stories.

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