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
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book

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

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

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 -