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A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

A Gate at the Stairs

Literary Fiction   
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Shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

A young teenage girl finds herself caught up in the complicated, emotional lives of a couple and their young adopted daughter. Touching on themes of adoption, race, relationships, politics there is plenty here for discussion.

“This is the only book of all the many books we’ve read, that made me stop and put the book down and walk away because I was so shocked… It’s a great book, it’s got scenes in there that are really unusual, that keep sticking in my mind. It stayed with me a really long time after I read it and I’m very happy it’s on the shortlist.” Miranda Sawyer (Orange Prize for Fiction 2010 judging panel)

If you like Lorrie Moore you might also like to read books by Suzannah Dunn, Louise Voss and Anna Quindlen.


A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

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.

About the Author

Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore was born in 1957 in Glens Falls, New York, and attended St Lawrence University and Cornell University. Her work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker and Best American Short Stories. She currently teaches English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is the author of three collections of short stories - Self-Help, Like Life and Birds of America - and the novels Anagrams and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? She is also editor of The Faber Book of Contemporary Stories About Childhood.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd April 2010


Lorrie Moore

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Faber and Faber


336 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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