This was Lorrie Moore's debut collection of stories (1985), and what a fine set of tales it is. "How to Be an Other Woman" starts it off with a bang, instructing the reader what one does and how one feels in that position. In "Go Like This," the reader feels what it's like to be a woman dying of cancer and informing her friends that she's going to kill herself. "How to Become a Writer" catalogs all the neurotic things a budding creator goes through -- even perhaps makes herself go through -- to reach her goal. (I should say that all of these stories have a lot of humor in them!) The final piece, "To Fill," seems a fairly conventional account of an overweight wife and mom who's driving herself nuts over her size and suspicions of her husband's possible infidelity, but it packs an emotional wallop. An impressive first-time-out for a writer who would go on to even greater things.
This report prepared by David Loftus