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December 25, 2014

Book Review Characters try to move on in Moore’s collection on loss

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Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 7:52 pm | Updated: 8:16 pm, Tue May 20, 2014.

“Every day there was something new to mourn and something old to celebrate: civilization had learned this long ago and continued to remind us.” It’s something from the final story in “Bark,” Lorrie Moore’s new collection of short stories, it’s something that infuses all eight of these remarkable stories about loss and how tentatively we process it.

The stories vary in length, with two comprising half of the pages in the volume. In “Debarking,” a newly divorced man finds he must deal with the collateral damage of his failed marriage on the eve of the United States’ invasion of Iraq: “Especially now with all that’s happening, I can’t live without some intimacy, companionship, whatever you want to call it, to face down this global craziness.” In “Wings,” a former musician, whose life hasn’t worked out professionally or personally for years, finds an unexpected path of escape from her unsatisfying life in a growing relationship with an elderly neighbor.

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