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Anagrams
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About the Author

Lorrie Moore, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her novel A Gate at the Stairs was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Reviews

Who exactly is Benna, the 33-year-old poetry teacher (or singer? or aerobics instructor?) we meet in this inventive novel? It is hard to say. She hidesfrom us, from herselfbehind imaginary identities, relationships, and scenarios in which elements of character and action are transposed like the letters of those anagrams she scribbles on napkins. Her fantasies are offered as straight narrative along with a stream of wisecracks (``All the world's a stage we're going through''). For deep down, Benna is terrified of the contingencies of reality (``One gust of wind and Santa became Satan''), longs for the very continuity she mocks. This won't be everyone's cup of tea. Still, the virtuosity of Moore's widely praised Self-Help ( LJ 3/15/85) is once again evident, and when she fleetingly reveals the vulnerability beneath the sleight of hand, it is very affecting. Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.

"An extraordinary, often hilarious novel." --The New York Times Book Review"From the very start, Lorrie Moore's generous gifts as a writer have been clear: A wry, distinctive voice, a gift for telling detail." --The New York Times"Anagrams has all the wit and inveigling playfulness of Self-Help, plus an organic sophistication astounding in a first novel." --The Philadelphia Inquirer"A rare novel. . . . Its surface sparkles with wit and humor, but underneath there's a keen intelligence at work, a seriousness of purpose that's deeply touching. Read Anagrams. It will bowl you over." --The Plain Dealer

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