Lorrie Moore: Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?

Reading Lorrie Moore’s Who Will Run the Frog Hospital. I’ve written about how much I love Moore before. I have only read her short stories.

Never read this, one of her novels.

A magnificent excerpt:

We’d started working at Storyland in May, on the weekends, through the Memorial Day rush, until school let ou tin early June. Then we worked six days a week. Up until then we had met during the school week in the cemetery to smoke. Every day we would have what we called a “cemetery lunch”. I would clamber up over the hill, past the blue meadow of veronica and flax, past the broken stick-arbor and the Seckel pear, down the gravel path, into the planked swamp and on up to the gravestones, where Sils would be waiting, having arrived from the other end. She lived on a small oaky street that dead-ended into the cemetery (next to which she lived). “Is this street symbolic or what?” Sils would say to anyone who visited. Especially the boys. The boys adored her. She was what my husband once archly referred to as “oh, probably a cool girl. Right? Right? One of those little hippettes from Whositville?” She could read music, knew a little about painting; she had older brothers in a rock band. She was the most sophisticated girl in Horsehearts, not a tough task, but you have to understand what that could do to a girl. What it could do to her life. And although I’ve lost track of her now, such a loss would have seemed inconceivable to me then. Still, I often surmise the themes in her, what she would be living out: the broken and ridiculous songs; the spent green box of Horsehearts; the sad, stuck, undelivering world.


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5 Responses to Lorrie Moore: Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?

  1. ted says:

    I found this book brutal and brilliant! I really want to read it a second time.

  2. Catherine says:

    Brutal and brilliant – that’s a pretty great way to describe Lorrie Moore! I love this book hardcore. It seems to have been a part of my life forever. Really clear memories of lying on my parents’ bed reading when I was like 5 or 6, and looking over the side by the wall where loads of books had dropped down over the years and seeing my mam’s copy of it. I thought the name was so funny and weird – my little girl brain actually thought it was some kind of handbook for amphibian doctors or something. And then when I was 15 I got my own copy for Christmas. I’ve read it maybe 3 times since…

  3. red says:

    I’m halfway thru. They are now trying to figure out what to do about Sils’s pregnancy. I think I will finish it tonight.

  4. deirdre says:

    Back in 1998 or 1999, The Nature Conservancy had a store in the local mall. They sold all things natural, like cds of whale songs and telescopes and jigsaw puzzles of Bengal tigers.

    Anyhow, I went in around Christmas to look for gifts, and ran across of tableful of books by Lorrie Moore. The table was piled high with books, and they were all marked down to $4.99 — clearly the store just wanted to get rid of them, no care about the profit.

    I thought, what an odd combination — why on earth would the Nature Conservancy be selling Lorrie Moore books?

    Then I realized exactly what had happened — the table was packed with copies of Moore’s book, “Birds of America.”

    I still get a chuckle out of that today.

  5. 2008 Books Read

    … in the order in which I finished them, understanding that very often I read many books at the same time. I count re-read books, by the way. I’ll include links to any posts or book excerpts I might have…

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