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04-16-14 : Lorrie Moore 'Bark'

Undoing the World

We are the authors of our own unhappiness, and unhappily prolific in the creation of our work. The stories you read in Lorrie Moore's 'Bark' manage the unique feat of showing us just how skilled we are in the work of undoing the good in our lives, our species-specific skill of undercutting our own survival, and yet, in the reading, these stories are light and filled with the stuff and joy of life. Lorrie Moore embraces mutually exclusive notions with grace, intelligence and lovely writing.

For a book chock-a-block with divorce, death and deception, 'Bark' is a lot of fun to read. Moore may have a dark vision of the world, but her complicated, prickly characters ring true. They often manage to enjoy themselves, and sometimes do the right thing, making the world, their worlds just a little better in the midst of a whole lot of worse.

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A Thousand Shards of Glass
Michael Katakis

Poetic and polemic and powerful.

Reviewed by
Rick Kleffel


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What is The Agony Column?

"He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. "Dear me!" said he, turning over the pages, "what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! But surely the most valuable hunting-ground that ever was given to a student of the unusual!"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Red Circle


NEW! 04-23-14: Time to Read Ep 158: Mona Simpson 'Casebook'
04-21-14: A 2014 Interview with Lorrie Moore

Photo Crediot Zane Williams.
"..when you read really trashy newspapers about people killing each other and all, they're usually in the midst of a divorce." —Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is extremely good about letting her work speak for itself. She's a great live reader of her own stories. But she's also a teacher and her ability to convey ideas about her own writing came to the fore when we sat down to talk about the stories in 'Bark.'

04-16-14: A 2014 Interview with Michael Katakis

Photo by Ralph Elliott Starkweather.
"..we haven't lived up to what people's illusions and dreams are..." —Michael Katakis

I've done many a tough interview; some were difficult because they required a great deal of specific knowledge gleaned from the reading, some because the reading was emotional and the knowledge was abstract. Sitting down to talk to Michael Katakis about 'A Thousand Shards of Glass' put me in the room where the last interview I had done had included his late wife, Dr. Kris Hardin.

Recent & Newest Podcasts
A 2014 Interview with David Rich : "...so much is known so quickly..."
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A 2014 Interview with Dave Barry : "...you have the right to demand that they grope your genitals manually..."
Podcast Archive
The Agony Column Literary Magazine for April 20, 2014: Michael Katakis and Mona Simpson Email me.

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