A certain fiction writer is leaving for Tennessee.
Celebrated fiction writer Lorrie Moore will be leaving UW-Madison's faculty in the fall to take a job at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., according to the university.
Many of Moore's short stories, collected in Birds of America, Self-Help, and Like Life, are considered classics of the form. Jonathan Lethem opened his New York Times review of her last novel, A Gate at the Stairs, published in 2009, by saying, "I'm aware of one -- one -- reader who doesn't care for Lorrie Moore, and even that one seems a little apologetic about it."
Vanderbilt's chancellor, Nicholas Zeppos, gushed in a press release that "Lorrie is the essence of original expression and commentary," and Tony Earley, an English professor at the school, commented that Moore is "the most influential short story writer working in America." MFA students at the school were said to have "actually shouted with joy when they heard" Moore was coming.
Last summer, in an essay for The New York Review of Books, Moore favorably compared Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (during his recall run against Gov. Scott Walker) to former president Bill Clinton.
Barrett, the people’s mayor of Milwaukee, is chiseled, handsome, and dignified in an almost regal way; in a rally with Bill Clinton the weekend before the election, even while costumed in a Milwaukee Brewers jacket, the very tall, polite Barrett made the crowd-pleasing Clinton look like a raspy, wispy tough guy.
Otherwise, she spoke unfavorably of Wisconsin pols and their initiatives, especially Walker, whose Act 10 legislation seemed to be "part of a larger right-wing agenda being tried out for national spectators."