In these eight stories, Lorrie Moore explores the emotional fallout of divorce with biting humor and the deep ache of sadness. The end of love. The book's title, Bark, shows up in several of the stories with various meaningsthe bark of a man's voice; someone barking up the wrong tree; the denial that a dog's bark could be worse than its bite. I saw Bark as a metaphor; the tough outer layer that a tree grows to protect what is tender, soft and vulnerable inside is not unlike our own defensesthe lashing out, cynicism and sharp tongues we sometimes use to protect ourselves.
In "Debarking," Ira, a newly divorced manbitter, terrified and depressedventures into the awkward and deflating arena of middle-aged dating only to find his date (a life-weary, hashish-smoking, pediatrician) equally bitter even eleven years after her own divorce. She is more interested in ...
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