Lorrie Moore, See What Can Be Done
“See what can be done.” That’s the “magical request” Moore got each time Robert Silvers, the legendary editor of the New York Review of Books, asked her to write about something. Her critical stance, she writes, was “that of the ingenuous Martian who had just landed on a gorgeous alien planet”. This collection of 60 lucid and erudite cultural essays by the award-winning fiction writer is a treasure. Here are her takes on the work of John Cheever, Bobbie Ann Mason, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, John Updike, Don DeLillo, Clarice Lispector and dozens more. Plus, an appreciative account of binge watching The Wire. She ends with a multilayered tribute to Stephen Stills, whose songs, for her generation, are “marinated in our minds, our spines, our bones”.
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