Anagrams ) knits together the shadow of 9/11 and a young girl's bumpy coming-of-age in this luminous, heart-wrenchingly wry novel—the author"/>

A Gate at the Stairs

Lorrie Moore, Author . Knopf $25 (321p) ISBN 978-0-375-40928-8

Moore (Anagrams ) knits together the shadow of 9/11 and a young girl's bumpy coming-of-age in this luminous, heart-wrenchingly wry novel—the author's first in 15 years. Tassie Keltjin, 20, a smalltown girl weathering a clumsy college year in “the Athens of the Midwest,” is taken on as prospective nanny by brittle Sarah Brink, the proprietor of a pricey restaurant who is desperate to adopt a baby despite her dodgy past. Subsequent “adventures in prospective motherhood” involve a pregnant girl “with scarcely a tooth in her head” and a white birth mother abandoned by her African-American boyfriend—both encounters expose class and racial prejudice to an increasingly less naïve Tassie. In a parallel tale, Tassie lands a lover, enigmatic Reynaldo, who tries to keep certain parts of his life a secret from Tassie. Moore's graceful prose considers serious emotional and political issues with low-key clarity and poignancy, while generous flashes of wit—Tessie the sexual innocent using her roommate's vibrator to stir her chocolate milk—endow this stellar novel with great heart. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/13/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
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Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-385-66826-2
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-571-25807-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-307-27321-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-60283-716-4
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-385-66825-5
Book - 978-0-7927-6841-8
Hardcover - 521 pages - 978-1-4104-2189-0
Paperback - 321 pages
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-385-66824-8
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-571-19530-5
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-6839-5
Paperback - 321 pages - 978-0-571-24946-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-283-99557-3
Hardcover - 978-0-571-27128-3
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-571-24945-9
Hardcover - 10 pages - 978-1-4084-8972-7
Hardcover - 10 pages - 978-1-4084-9004-4
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