Lorrie Moore turns her eye on the anxiety and disconnection of modern America.
With America quietly gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, a 'half-Jewish' farmer's daughter from the plains of the Midwest, has come to university - escaping her provincial home to encounter the complex world of culture and politics. When she takes a job as a part-time nanny to a couple who seem at once mysterious and glamorous, Tassie is drawn into the life of their newly-adopted child and increasingly complicated household. As her past becomes increasingly alien to her - her parents seem older when she visits; her disillusioned brother ever more fixed on joining the military - Tassie finds herself becoming a stranger to herself. As the year unfolds, love leads her to new and formative experiences - but it is then that the past and the future burst forth in dramatic and shocking ways. Refracted through the eyes of this memorable narrator, A Gate at the Stairs is a lyrical, beguiling and wise novel of our times.
Lorrie Moore is the award-winning author of the story collections Self-Help, Like Life, and Birds of America, and the novels Anagrams and Who will Run the Frog Hospital? She currently teaches English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction 0
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