MLA Gold Award Site

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
  • 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!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: City of Secrets
    City of Secrets
    by Stewart O'Nan
    In his new novel, City of Secrets, Stewart O'Nan spins a tale of espionage and intrigue as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

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.