After Birds of America established Lorrie Moore as one of America's premier short story writers, the O. Henry Prize winner took a 15-year break from the genre, returning in fine form on this 2014 collection. Among the eight tales here are "Foes," in which a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest themselves at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown, and "The Juniper Tree," the story of a teacher visited by the ghost of a recently deceased friend, who finds herself forced to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in a kind of nightmare reunion.
"One of the best short story writers in America resumes her remarkable balancing act, with a collection that is both hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes in the same paragraph.... In stories both dark and wry, Moore wields a scalpel with surgical precision."—Kirkus Reviews