Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting Less of Moore

Here's a book you won't see in U.S. bookstores: The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore. The hardcover volume, published by Faber and Faber in the U.K. in early 2008, includes all of Moore's previously published stories, plus three that haven't appeared in any collection: "Paper Losses," "The Juniper Tree," and "Debarking." (U.S.) lists the book, but the only available copies are from a third party for the hefty price of $129.77. In the U.K., it lists for £20 (about $29 at current exchange rates) and on Amazon there it sells for £12 ($17.50).

I had an e-mail exchange with Lorrie Moore earlier in the year, and she told me about The Collected Stories, which, alas, isn't eligible for The Story Prize because it's not published in the U.S. It came to my attention again when I saw that British short story writer Helen Simpson had named it in The Independent's yearend survey of 2008's best books.
I'm not sure why Moore's U.S. publisher, Knopf, didn't put out The Collected Stories here--I imagine a lot of readers would love to replace their tattered copies of Self-Help, Anagrams (published as a novel but now out of the closet as a book of connected stories), Like Life, and Birds of America with a single volume. It's been ten years since Moore's last book. I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait.