Literary Birthday – 13 January – Lorrie Moore

Happy Birthday, Lorrie Moore, born 13 January 1957.


  1. Writers have no real area of expertise. They are merely generalists with a highly inflamed sense of punctuation.
  2. I don’t sit down to write a funny story. Every single thing I sit down to write is meant to be sad.
  3. If you look at most women’s writing, women writers will describe women differently from the way male writers describe women. The details that go into a woman writer’s description of a female character are, perhaps, a little more judgemental. They’re looking for certain things, because they know what women do to look a certain way.
  4. I’m not sure that niceness is what we should promote in writers.
  5. A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.
  6. Literature, of course, is not a contest.
  7. I’m a little harsh. When people say, ‘I have writer’s block. What do you suggest?’ I say, ‘If you can’t write, don’t write. No one needs your writing. Don’t torture yourself.’
  8. Humour comes from the surprise release of some buried tension.
  9. The only really good piece of advice I have for my students is, ‘Write something you’d never show your mother or father.’ And you know what they say? ‘I could never do that!’
  10. Writing has to be an obsession – it’s only for those who say, ‘I’m not going to do anything else.’
  11. I’m very interested in what people will do for money. Money: it’s timeless.
  12. If one loves stories, then one would naturally love the story of the story. Or the story behind the story, pick your preposition.
  13. All the world’s a stage we’re going through.

Lorrie Moore is an American fiction writer known mainly for her humorous and poignant short stories. She is the author of Birds of America: Stories and A Gate at the Stairs.

Photograph by Zane Williams, CC BY-SA 3.0  via Wikimedia Commons

Amanda Patterson

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 13th January 2014