A Gate at the Stairs

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Doubleday Canada, Limited, 2009 - College students - 336 pages
16 Reviews
Lyrical, devastatingly funny, wise, and beguiling,A Gate at the Stairsis Lorrie Moore’s most ambitious book to date.

The long-awaited new novel from one of the most heralded writers of the past thirty years,A Gate at the Stairsis a book of stunning power.

Set just after the events of September 2001, it is a story about Tassie Keltjin, a twenty-year-old making her way in a new world and coming of age. Tassie is a “smile-less” girl from the plains of the mid-west. She has come to a university town, her brain on fire with Chaucer, Sylvia Plath, and Simone de Beauvoir. In between semesters, she takes a part-time job as a nanny for a family that seems mysterious and glamorous to her. Though her liking for children tends to dwindle into boredom, Tassie begins to care for, and protect, their newly adopted little girl as her own. As the year unfolds, she is drawn even deeper into the world of the child and her hovering parents, and her own life back home becomes alien to her. As life reveals itself dramatically and shockingly, Tassie finds herself forever changed — less the person she once was, and more and more the stranger she feels herself to be.

Under the novel’s languid surface, Moore’s deft and lyrical writing skillfully illustrates the heart of racism, the shock of war, and the carelessness perpetrated against others in the name of love. It is the novel for our time.

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Review: A Gate at the Stairs

User Review  - Catherine Woodman - Goodreads

Having not read ANY of the books that ended up on the Notable Fiction of 2009 NYT list, it is hard for me to compare to the competitors, but I am hoping this wasn't one of the 5 best things written ... Read full review

Review: A Gate at the Stairs

User Review  - Bianka - Goodreads

A Gate at the Stairs By Lorrie Moore 322 pp. Random House ISBN: 0375409289 A Gate at the Stairs, is about a college student named Tassie, who barely has a grip on her own life. She finds a job as the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Lorrie Moore is the bestselling author of the story collectionsBirds of America,Like Life, andSelf-Help, and the novelsWho Will Run the Frog Hospital?andAnagrams. Her work has won honours from the Lannan Foundation,The Irish Times, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Rea Award and the PEN/Malamud Award. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin.

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