Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"How to Become a Writer" by Lorrie Moore

"How does one become a writer?" authors are probably often asked by acolytes and critics alike. This story might not help much, but it is a cleverly disguised bildungsroman disguised as a guide for would-be fictionists everywhere. Read by Stephen McCauley. Time 16:15.

It is up to the reader to decide how much of this story might really be autobiographical; Marie Lorena Moore the real person grew up surrounded by books and music, the daughter of parents who had both wanted to be writers at one time. By the time she was Lorrie Moore the writer, she had already won a Seventeen magazine contest and was fast on her way to tenure at The New Yorker and teaching college students to write. She is one of those somewhat rare writers known equally as much for her short story collections as her novels. Her fiction, as one might guess, can often be elusive, spurning or parodying convention.


Stephen McCauley's forthcoming novel Alternatives to Sex will be his sixth; he continues to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts despite everything. Look for a special advertising supplement from Mr. McCauley within the next day or so. If he's lucky, as he says, Oprah may mistake this latest novel for a memoir.

6 comments:

Marc said...

Blurring the line between poetry and prose.
I didn't quite get the buildup to the last (again abrupt) ending, though.

Scoot said...

Poetry? Prose? Fiction? Memoir? The lines are so blurry these days, aren't they?

Thanks for listening and sorry about another abrupt ending. Maybe the author just wanted to leave us a little puzzled and wanting to read more of her stories. Maybe again, she just got tired of writing!

Nomad said...

Pretty funny. Quite enjoyable. Brought back uni memories....I paint now.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

i really enjoyed this story...it was very amusing. i read this story for highschool which is why my comment may seem very unsophisticated (i am currently in highschool). i especially liked the ending and her point of view (second person). even more funny is the fact that this story has no plot. she seems to hint on that throughout.

pennies_from_heaven said...

hmmmm, interesting story... i laughed... brought back many memories from my own childhood and college years... i am discussing this story with my high school seniors (I am an English teacher)....I am hoping they will get out of it what i did.... she has so much doubt of what she wants to be in the story... deep down she wants to write...wants to explore that... yet, everyone is telling her that she doesn't "cut the mustard" in that area; so to speak.... life lessons... be who you want to be...

Anonymous said...

since i was in school i hath this dream that i just could not understand until i realize how deep was my feeling i found my self losing hope and faith until my family understood how i really wanting to become a writer i would like to write day and night but am scare,i have many stories and poem starting just waiting to finish, one of then is the story of my life (a girl just like you)i tries in many ways to publish it but am tried to be patient i would love to be the author of my own story i have novel in English and Spanish write but what i ask my family all the time what can the poor do to survive and it came in clear to my mind one day to pray.so am writing these word to let you know that i really take my writing serious maybe to much that i find my self cried over it.