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Read I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

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Read I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore
Image: Knopf

The latest Lorrie Moore book is her first that isn’t a short story collection since 2009’s A Gate at the Stairs. It comes in at a slim 208 pages, though it’s specifically listed as a novel, not a novella, on its cover. That’s fair, because though the plot is deceptively simple (protagonist Finn spends time with his dying brother and then dead ex, who’s decomposing), Moore packs in enough wry observations about life to fill several volumes from a lesser author. The two-hander scenarios yield script-like dialogue, and I was repeatedly reminded of the way peak Tarantino would sprinkle seemingly random but pointed observations about life into his larger narratives. Here’s my favorite:

“The stars just seem like a mess to me,” he sighed. “A hundred million billion stars and still not infinite.”

“I guess it will have to do. It will have to suffice as infinitude.”

“Guess so.”

“They shine, they sparkle, they share space, they have manners. Do you think each of these gazillion stars could be a person who died?”

“Each of these stars is a star that died or could be.”

“Are they in conversation? Part of a design? They each seem unaware of the others and since you don’t know whether they’re dead or alive, their lives are many years further back than their look of life. Their shine for us on Earth is all the same, whether we’re looking at dead shine or live shine. Starlight is simply performative.”

“You always lacked a little romance.”

—Rich Juzwiak

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