Birds of America: Stories

Author:Lorrie Morre

Offbeat relationships are penned with dark wit and crisp clarity in this short-story collection. There's the mousy librarian who falls for an “anarchist-clerk” lover, the aging actress romancing a dully inexplicable mechanic, and a host of other well-drawn female characters populating the strange land of America. An easygoing stylist, Morre meters out casual diction with a consummate sense of rhythm. Her snappy timing undergirds the true joy of Birds: a delightful sense of humor that dovetails into quietly reflective revelations. One protagonist passes through the traditional stages of mourning —“ Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Häagen Dazs, Rage” — over a dead pet, although the malaise may be indicative of a deeper, more profound crisis at hand. By turns serious and lighthearted, Birds of America is Morre's most developed literary effort to date and consistently entertaining.