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Extended Audio Sample A Gate at the Stairs Audiobook, by Lorrie Moore Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 5 3.56 (9 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lorrie Moore Narrator: Mia Barron Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781482978957
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In her dazzling new novel—her first in more than a decade—Moore turns her eye on the anxiety and disconnection of post-9/11 America, on the insidiousness of racism, the blind-sidedness of war, and the recklessness thrust on others in the name of love. As the United States begins gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, the Midwestern daughter of a gentleman hill farmer—his “Keltjin potatoes” are justifiably famous—has come to a university town as a college student, her brain on fire with Chaucer, Sylvia Plath, Simone de Beauvoir. As the year unfolds and she is drawn deeper into each of these lives, her own life back home becomes ever more alien to her: her parents are frailer; her brother, aimless and lost in high school, contemplates joining the military. Tassie finds herself becoming more and more the stranger she felt herself to be, and as life and love unravel dramatically, even shockingly, she is forever changed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tassie is achingly real and, thanks to Moore’s nimble prose, an unbeatable guide through the thicket of early adulthood.”


  • “Tassie’s wit and bruisable heart makes this novel refreshingly real.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “Incisively funny…Witty and endearing…There are some books that you don’t so much want to review as to hand out copies to all your reading friends. This is one of those.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “The story’s apparent modesty and ambling pace are deceptive, a cover for profound reflections on marriage and parenthood, racism and terrorism, and especially the baffling, hilarious, brutal initiation to adult life…Strange and moving.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Spectacular…Gate is a gift.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Moore balances pathos and humor, poetry and puns, often on the seesaw of the same sentence…A Gate at the Stairs is vintage Lorrie Moore.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • Selected for the 2010 Orange Prize Shortlist
  • A 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
  • A Indie Next Notable Title, September 2009
  • A 2009 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2009 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2009 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2009 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • A 2009 Financial Times Best Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2009 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 5/22/2011

    " Moore's writing is so compelling. Sometimes I'm not entirely convinced that a 21-yr old would be thinking the thoughts Moore ascribes to her, but I'm swept along by the lovely writing. I did skip one or two lengthy descriptions of potatoes, but no bother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celeste | 5/19/2011

    " Typical Moore. Incredibly descriptive, sensitive, and surprising. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bianca | 5/14/2011

    " Love the way the book was written, the style was almost lyrical but it was so damned depressing. Why are all books so depressing? Still worth the read I suppose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 5/11/2011

    " Lorrie Moore is an inspiration. Her writing is like reading music--lyrical, enveloping, and magical. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elana | 5/9/2011

    " It was OK, somewhat boring and disturbing at times, but I did learn a few things, and the end has an interesting twist. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julia | 5/7/2011

    " Very overrated book. Characters are mostly cliches. There is one story-within-this-story that is interesting. About 4 pages worth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mindy | 5/2/2011

    " I really liked Moore's writing but she really downplayed some of the pivotal moments I thought. I loved the way she wrote about Troy--which in all possible ways is Madison, WI. Just doesn't reach to the level of "recommend" to get four stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 5/1/2011

    " Read a while ago and so need to revisit prior to our discussion - enjoyed the book the first time for sure and love Lorrie Moore's writing in general. Will update comments after a second read. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg | 4/29/2011

    " Very well written, if a little exaggerated. Babysitter for an adopted child with wealthy older parents learns that the parents earlier caused the death of their son. They lose the adopted child and the sitter attempts to find herself. Author does a wicked job on Madison's pretentions! "

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About the Author
Author Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is the author of the story collections Birds of America, Like Life, and Self-Help and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her work has won honors from the Lannan Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, and the PEN/Malamud Award. She is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

About the Narrator

Mia Barron has worked at theaters in New York and around the country. Her film and television credits include The Guiding Light and the independent feature The F Word. She has won an AudioFile Earphones Award, and in 2003 she was awarded the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award for her audiobook narration.