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A gate at the stairs : a novel
Lorrie Moore
Adult Fiction MOORE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Moore (Anagrams) knits together the shadow of 9/11 and a young girl's bumpy coming-of-age in this luminous, heart-wrenchingly wry novel-the author's first in 15 years. Tassie Keltjin, 20, a smalltown girl weathering a clumsy college year in "the Athens of the Midwest," is taken on as prospective nanny by brittle Sarah Brink, the proprietor of a pricey restaurant who is desperate to adopt a baby despite her dodgy past. Subsequent "adventures in prospective motherhood" involve a pregnant girl "with scarcely a tooth in her head" and a white birth mother abandoned by her African-American boyfriend-both encounters expose class and racial prejudice to an increasingly less naOve Tassie. In a parallel tale, Tassie lands a lover, enigmatic Reynaldo, who tries to keep certain parts of his life a secret from Tassie. Moore's graceful prose considers serious emotional and political issues with low-key clarity and poignancy, while generous flashes of wit-Tessie the sexual innocent using her roommate's vibrator to stir her chocolate milk-endow this stellar novel with great heart. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Just months after 9/11, college student Tassie Keltjin, the brilliant daughter of a Midwestern farmer, becomes a part-time nanny for an older white couple who have adopted an African American baby. Enjoying her delightful young charge and reveling in her love affair with her Brazilian boyfriend, Tassie has a growing suspicion that her employers are somehow off. When their identities, as well as her boyfriend's, are blown, Tassie heads home, only to be hit with another, more devastating shock. Verdict Moore uses the same kind of poetic precision of language found in her dazzling short story collections (e.g., Birds of America) to draw the reader into her long-awaited third novel (after Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?). The challenge for readers is to reconcile the beautiful sharpness of her language with two wildly improbable plot threads. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/09.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Tassie Keltjin
Female
Age: 20
Sarah's nanny; becomes close to her work family; feels like an outsider to her real family.
College student

Sarah Brink
Female
Married
Hired Tassie to be a nanny for her adopted daughter.
Restaurateur



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