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Lorrie Moore, the witty writer, kicks off arts and ideas season at the JCC, Sept. 14
By Bruce Bellingham

Lorrie Moore, a naturally funny woman, has been compared to Grace Paley and Woody Allen. She appears at the Jewish Community Center on Monday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m., taking the stage with San Francisco’s Daniel Handler, who’s also known as Lemony Snicket. Moore will discuss her life as a writer and will be pleased to discuss her new novel, A Gate at the Stars.
Now an English professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (where she confesses she gets lonely and pines for New York City, even after 14 years), she’s best known for her short story collections, Birds of America, Life Like, and Self-Help.
She’s been called “a writer’s writer,” but doesn’t take the accolade too seriously. She wrote a piece called How to Become a Writer, including this piece of advice: “First, try to do something, anything else.”
Don Lee, writing in Ploughshares magazine, observed of Moore’s book Self-Help, “Six of the nine stories are written in the second person mock-imperative, ironically imitating self-help books for contemporary women, particularly in regard to romance.”
One story begins, “Understand that your cat is a whore and can’t
help you.”
Another, called How to Be an Other Woman, starts, “Meet in expensive beige raincoats, on a pea-soupy night,” then continues, “After four movies, three concerts, and two-and-a-half museums, you sleep with him. It seems the right number of cultural events.”
It promises to be an amusing evening at the JCC.

Author Lorrie Moore:
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street (at Presidio); Sept. 14, 8 p.m.; tickets $10–$18 at the box office, 415-292-1233 or

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