See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary (Paperback)

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See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary By Lorrie Moore Cover Image

See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary (Paperback)


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(Literary Collections & Criticism)
A remarkable collection of essays and reviews on everything from Philip Roth to Margaret Atwood, from race in America to the shocking state of the GOP—from the national bestselling author of Birds of America and a master of contemporary American fiction.

“The kind of book, and the kind of human, you’d want to guide you through the past few decades in letters and culture.... Moore is one of our best documentarians of everyday amazement.” —The New Yorker

This essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorrie Moore turning her discerning eye on everything from celebrity culture to the wilds of television, from Stephen Sondheim to Barack Obama. See What Can Be Done is a perfect blend of craft, brains, and a knowing, singular take on life, liberty, and the pursuit of (some kind of) happiness.
LORRIE MOORE is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525433859
ISBN-10: 0525433856
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Pages: 512
Language: English
A New York Times Editors' Choice A New York Times Top Book of the Year An Irish Times Best Book of the Year A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

“The kind of book, and the kind of human, you’d want to guide you through the past few decades in letters and culture. . . . Moore is one of our best documentarians of everyday amazement.” The New Yorker

“Excellent. . . . Shining. . . . [This] book flooded my veins with pleasure.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Moore’s incisive, often mordant yet exhilarating pieces illuminate the trajectory of a literary artist’s aesthetic evolution, and enhance an understanding of her fiction.” —Claire Messud, The Guardian

“Impressive. . . . Her wicked wit is demonstrated by the opening sentence. . . . What sustains overall this group of essays and commentary is a continuous critical spirit that stays in touch with life.” —William H. Pritchard, The Wall Street Journal

“One of our finest fiction writers considers the work of her fellow artists. . . . [An] agile, funny, and sage take on literature and culture.” O, The Oprah Magazine

“Captivating . . . . Nuanced and polished. . . . I found myself nestling into the book the way one does with the most gripping of novels.” —Daphne Merkin, The New York Times Book Review

“Moore’s writing sings at the atomic level. . . . One comes to this book not to find out what one should think, or even what Moore thinks, about Don DeLillo or Anais Nin or Alice Munro; the questions one can answer here are, instead, why one might care about them, and how a book or a story or a sentence might offer safety, companionship, sight.” The New Republic

“A testament to the breadth of Moore's intellect. . . . ‘One must throw all that one is into language,’ she writes, ‘like a Christmas tree hurled into a pool.’. . . See What Can Be Done is not only a call to that ideal, but a fulfillment of it.” The Christian Science Monitor

“Whip-smart and thought-provoking.” Elle

“Engrossing enough to read straight through. . . . Moore’s interest in fully revealing each work she discusses becomes a kind of guiding spirit. . . . Sublimely generous. . . . Embrace[s] elegance.” Commonweal

“[A] brilliant and piercing collection. . . . She fearlessly tells the truth about hard things.” Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Sharply observed and gorgeously written. . . . Moore isn’t afraid to take a stand. . . . Moore places a premium in these pieces on the ‘resilience’ demonstrated by some of her subjects.  Let’s hope she continues to exhibit the same, giving us more of the short stories for which she’s renowned—and the essays for which she should be.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Arresting. . . . Excellent. . . . Incisive, wide-ranging. . . . Marvelously nuanced.” The Observer (London)

“This collection of 60 lucid and erudite cultural essays by the award-winning fiction writer is a treasure.” —

“Lorrie Moore’s essays are brilliantly written, brimming with energy. . . . A generous reader of other writers, Moore is always smart, never snooty, and as in her novels and short stories, there’s a bold streak of humour.” The Irish Times