How to Talk to
Your Mother

A Story

by Lorrie Moore
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I very much like this structural descent into memory, a stunning experiment by one of my favorite writers. It allows for a progressively deepening experience of the story.

This work is enchanting. I wondered what would make the cut in my relationship with my mother, if I were to present a similar year-by-year account. The transitions were so natural, I had the sense of watching a motion picture in reverse. Moore's story also saddens me a bit, in a wistful way. I think of all the things we want to say to our mothers when we're young but don't know how. Then, we begin to come of age and our mothers become the opposition and communication is a battlefield. Finally, we get older and we start to see the reasons for how Mom behaved back then, but by then, so often, she's gone, even if she's still here. The container becomes the contained . . . I just loved that. When I got to the end, I literally smiled. Thanks, Lorrie.

The entry for 1968 is breathtaking . . . Thank you for your writing.

I read the story and then immediately called my mother. I love this story. The story speaks to the union of mother and child, which transcends the practical matters of the everyday, and at the same time, lives, breathes, and sighs within it. The narrator gazes at mothers with children while riding on a bus, and her sight carries longing for her own mother, and for her own unborn self.

I am reminded about why I loved Lorrie Moore the first time I loved her. She dares. She dares to go beyond, to experiment with the impossible happenings and connections of us, mothers and daughters everywhere. I love her for being a heart opener.