Lorrie Moore’s first novel since A Gate at the Stairs—a daring, meditative exploration of love and death, passion and grief, and what it means to be haunted by the past, both by history and the human heart.
From“one of the most acute and lasting writers of her generation” (Caryn James; The New York Times)—a ghost story set in the 19th and 21st centuries, an elegiac consideration of grief, devotion (filial and romantic), and the vanishing and persistence of all things—seen and unseen.
A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the 19th century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all . . .
With her distinctive, irresistible wordplay and singular wry humor and wisdom, Lorrie Moore has given us a magic box of longing and surprise as she writes about love and rebirth and the pull towards life. Bold, meditative, theatrical, this new novel is an inventive, poetic portrait of lovers and siblings as it questions the stories we have been told which may or may not be true. I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home takes us through a trap door, into a windswept, imagined journey to the tragic-comic landscape that is, unmistakably, the world of Lorrie Moore.
About the Author
LORRIE MOORE is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. She is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Moore . . . is an indisputable genius, her sentences routinely sublime . . . [A] triumph.” —Sally Franson, San Francisco Chronicle “[Moore] once again wields her wordplay playfully and powerfully, striking a balance between levity and gravity. Such a pliant voice is needed to undertake an exploration of the thin veil between life and death, and between tragedy and comedy, and Moore once again succeeds admirably. . . . [I]t’s hard to find writers ancient or modern who have used language with a music, wit and tenderness comparable to Moore’s.” –Margaret Mitchell, The Spectator— “Who else but Lorrie Moore could make, in razor-sharp, irresistible prose, a ghost story about death buoyant with life?”—People “[A] literary gem . . . comic and macabre . . . a meditation on love and death which is by turns whimsical and profound, and reveals tantalisingly the complex histories which have made us who we are.” —Paul Perry, Sunday Independent (Ireland)
“A poignant and thought-provoking novel that lodges like a shard . . . The worlds created by Moore and the wisdom she imparts over the course of her narrative remain in the memory long after reading. The magic is in watching the threads come together, the nimble structuring and authoritative style that permit the reader to imagine the unimaginable . . . an impressive feat of storytelling that leaves us wondering, in the case of death and grief, who ends up more hollowed out, the dead or those they leave behind.” —Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times
“In I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home Moore brings all her powers of language, comedy, and narrative to bear on the abject chaos of our days. She does not attempt to subdue or redeem the wreck of reality—a fool’s errand—but rather to craft a work of art that is true to the baleful circumstances that made it possible. . . .” —Justin Taylor, The Sewanee Review
“Unexpectedly powerful in its meditations and riffs on love and purgatory as it swerves and skids toward an offbeat finish.” —Taylor Antrim, Vogue
“Weird and wonderful . . . [Moore’s] talent—evident in abundance here—is for using humor and beguilingly odd details to yield grand truths about what it means to be human.” —The Economist “Lorrie Moore is an all-American genius-eccentric. . . . [O]ne of the most singular and affecting on-the-road stories in the American canon.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)
“[A] wild, haunted-house ride, powered by linguistic panache, descriptive oomph and her trademark wit. Captivating insights into love, loss and letting go add an elegiac note.” —Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail (UK)
“There are pleasures here for fans of her wordplay and dark humour . . . Underneath the jokes runs an achingly poignant reckoning with grief.”—Mia Livithin, The Telegraph
“By the end of this wise, tender novel, we can only conclude that everything is pretty damn wonderful, too.”—Catherine Jarvie, Marie Claire (UK)
“Moore is after something more mysterious than naturalism. She is operating in the territory of myth. Moore’s fever dream of a world [feels] so relentlessly real.” —David L. Ulin, L.A. Times
“Her style is still hers alone . . . this new novel is a reminder to prize every moment we get with her on the page.”—Luke Brown, Independent (UK)
“This is a novel about inexorable loss, about how we can’t hold on to anything no matter how hard we try. What a peculiar gift of a novel. This slender ghost story haunts long past the time when the final page is turned.” —Erica Wagner, The Sunday Times (UK)
“Deeply empathetic . . . Moore's latest novel is elegiac and funny, consumed with both the process of dying and the act of remembering.”—Jackie Thomas-Kennedy, Star Tribune
“[Moore] assembles her puns and her false mustaches, readies her troupe, and finds a way to rewrite the most inexorably linear story of all. Moore’s ‘radiant turbulence’ will always beckon. You have to stick around for the show.” —Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker
“Charming and sly . . . Fluky, fitfully funny and folk-horror-adjacent . . . Moore stretches for deeper themes in this novel, and of course they’re there: It’s a book about loss, and about the patience and endurance it takes to treat the dying with respect, and about the shaggy and multiform varieties of love.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Thoughtful and witty . . . The author’s fans will love it, and those new to Moore will want to see what else they’ve been missing.” —Publishers Weekly
“An exquisite exploration of grief, longing, and our relationship with the past . . . mixing comedy with tragedy, and exploring what it means to be alive.” —Kristyn Kusek Lewis, Real Simple “There is much enjoyment to be had with Moore’s unique style, particularly the extended, loopy dialogue, replete with wordplay, song lyrics, conspiracy theories, literary and pop culture references. By its end, [the novel] becomes a moving tale of longing, grief, and acceptance.” —Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Library Journal “The novel includes historical flashbacks – bleak letters to a sister from a Civil War–era woman ‘braced at every turn for disenchantment’ – and reflections on everything from mobile phone obsession to the mentality of a school shooting generation, all in Moore’s gorgeous prose. And Moore’s sharp wit underpins everything. I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home explores death, grief and the past in a way that is full of wisdom and empathy. I enjoyed so many moments in this novel . . . As with all the best fiction, Moore offers a way of looking at the world that brings a fresh perspective on something well worn. This is a time trip well worth taking.” —Martin Chilton, Independent (UK) “Moore’s sterling literary reputation is anchored most firmly to her short stories, but in her long-awaited fourth novel, her prose is just as breathtakingly crystalline, her humor wily and piquant . . . Moore’s exhilarating dialogue is acrobatic, her descriptions ravishing . . . A curious spin on Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, with frissons of George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (2017), Moore’s unnerving, gothic, acutely funny, lyrically metaphysical, and bittersweet tale is an audacious, mind-bending plunge into the mysteries of illness, aberration, death, grief, memory, and love.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“[Moore] manages the impossible in her writing: every other sentence is a gut-punch or the funniest line you’ve ever read, and it coheres into some of the truest writing about life—for what is life if not constantly either hilarious or devastating, and often both? I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home is a ghost story, a love story, a family elegy, and a search for answers both tangible and ephemeral: it’s the world of Lorrie Moore, beckoning us back in.” —LitHub, “Most Anticipated Books of 2023”
“Moore’s trademark precision prose works throughout to move the story forward and ensure the reader is both laughing and crying—warning: this is a deeply emotional read.” —Yvonne Garrett, The Brooklyn Rail
“Moore has long been an expert at mood-setting, and the plot lines develop an uncanny resonance, Moore’s fear of death, ghost stories and our inability to save people while managing to be, in a very Moore-ian way, weirdly funny.” —Mark Athitakis, L.A. Times
“Moore is revered for her wit, and fans will not be disappointed by the novel’s dark humor. The prose might be her finest.” —Claire Messud, Harper’s
“The writing is just spectacular. And I think Lorrie Moore really is a magician.” —Front Row, BBC Radio
“A wry, shape-shifting meditation on how we might continue to commune with the dead . . . Both playful and poignant, this story of siblings and mental health slips the bonds of time and mortality. It bears Moore’s s trademark psychological depth and humor. At the sentence level, the work is never less than a revelation.” —Rebecca Foster, Shelf Awareness
“Is it an allegory? Is it real? It doesn’t matter. Exploring sibling love, death, and longing, it’s a novel with big questions, no answers, and it’s absolutely brilliant.” —Emily Firetog, Lit Hub, “The 28 Novels You Need to Read This Summer”
“[A] triumph of tone and, ultimately, of the imagination.” —Abhrajyoti Chakraborty, The Guardian