Reading guide for Bark by Lorrie Moore

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bark

Stories

by Lorrie Moore

Bark by Lorrie Moore
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2014, 208 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. What is the metaphor of the title? How do the epigraphs help to set it up?

  2. The stories share several themes, among them aging and the passage of time, parents and children, divorce and separation. What would you say is the primary theme of the collection?

  3. Several of the story titles have multiple meanings. How does Moore's wordplay keep the reader guessing?

  4. The dialogue in Moore's stories is often funny. Would you call the stories themselves humorous?

  5. Real-life current events cast shadows over several of the stories. How does Moore use them to shape a deeper meaning?

  6. In "Debarking," when Zora tells Ira, "Every family is a family of alligators," (p. 15), how does this foreshadow what's to come?

  7. Ira reads a poem in Bekka's journal: "Time moving. / Time standing still. / What is the difference? / Time standing still is the difference" (p. 31). He has no idea what it means, but he knows that it's awesome. What do you think the poem means?

  8. Why do you think Moore titled the story following "Debarking" "The Juniper Tree"?

  9. This second story has a dreamlike quality. Do you think Moore expects the reader to accept it as realistic?

  10. In "Paper Losses," Kit asserts: "A woman had to choose her own particular unhappiness carefully. That was the only happiness in life: to choose the best unhappiness" (p. 68). What do you think of this notion?

  11. What point is Moore making in "Foes"?

  12. What is the metaphor of the "rat king" sequence (p. 140) in "Wings"?

  13. In "Subject to Search," Tom says that cruelty comes naturally to everyone (p. 166). Do you agree? Does that assertion prove true in Moore's stories?

  14. "Thank You for Having Me" draws a clear connection between weddings and funerals, marriage and death. What connections have you seen in your own experience?

  15. On page 184, Moore writes, "Maria was a narrative girl and the story had to be spellbinding or she lost interest in the main character, who was sometimes herself and sometimes not." Which other characters in the collection could be described in this way?

  16. Which of Moore's characters would you most like to meet again?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Vintage. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...
  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    No One Is Coming to Save Us
    by Stephanie Powell Watts

    One of Entertainment Weekly, Nylon and Elle's most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

It is always darkest just before the day dawneth

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -