more about: A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs: Lorrie Moore Answers Your Questions

Hello, book clubbers: There was a lot of discussion about the perceived themes of the book: gates and stairs and death and…snakes. And readers were curious about author Lorrie Moore’s writing process. Discussion leader Gary Ryan even wondered to what extent Moore embroiders her writing with themes once she has written a first draft, to which Moore replied: “To some […]

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A Gate at the Stairs: Chapters 5 and 6, Plus Questions for the Author

While I knew something was up in the Thornwood-Brink house, I was completely floored by the story of Gabriel. I have been both the passenger and the driver in cars that have been pulled off the road due to a child’s unruly behavior, but leaving him? What?!? I could not believe that John/Edward drove away and that Susan/Sarah didn’t open […]

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A Gate at the Stairs: Chapter 4

For me, Chapter 4 was all about Tassie and men. She has multiple awkward encounters with Edward. She meets and falls in love with Reynaldo. Edward is downright creepy, from him staring at her while she cradles Mary Emma bare-breasted (ok, this is weird in my book: that Sarah would recommend it, and that Tassie would oblige) to his repeatedly […]

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A Gate at the Stairs: Chapter 3

Hi, everyone: Chapter 3 is jam-packed. More Sarah oddities. The introduction of Edward and his hair cape. Their marriage and Tassie’s assessment of it. Baby Mary. Roberta and the Adoption Option. I’ll share with you what really stood out for me in this chapter, and I would love to hear the same from you. I took note of: 1. Moore’s […]

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A Gate at the Stairs

Call me Ishmael. This sentence is forever part of my high-school memories. Mrs. Masterson spent at least a week (or so it felt) teaching us the importance of Herman Melville’s opening sentence from his novel Moby-Dick. I was catapulted back to 10th grade when I read the opening sentence of A Gate at the Stairs, “The cold came late that […]

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A Gate at the Stairs: Hello

Hey, everyone: I’m Gary Ryan, and I will be hosting this month’s edition of Real Simple’s No-Obligation Book Club. Two things: First, I’m a woman despite the boy’s name, which happens to be my middle name AND my mother’s name (my first name is Mina—also my mother’s—but I’ve been called Gary from day one). Second, I think I’m one of […]

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