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Who will run the frog hospital? Bizarre title for a novel wouldn't you agree. In many ways it smacks of those pretensious art house novels that suddenly became popular around the time Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit came into its own.
But Lorrie Moore, the teacher of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, is not just another Jeanette Winterson. She is the author of two collections of short stories Self-Help and Like Life. She is alos the author of the novel Anagrams.
I have read Who Will Run The Frog Hospital twice and it is really moorish. Each read gives you different things and it really is the kind of book that magically unfolds into something else every time you read it!
The book follows the lives of Berie and her best friend Sills. The book starts with the grown up Berie reminiscing about her girlhood with her best friend Sills. They meet up again in Paris after years of estrangement. But altough this is the outline of the story, it really isn't about that. It's more about the things that you realise as you get older and change. It's also about friendship and the phases it passes through.
Lorrie Moore writes in a really direct and honest way that is often a bit shocking. This book is a brilliant nostalgic look at the past that is perfectly bitter-sweet with just the right balance. It's funny and poignant and some parts really will strike a chord with any grown up woman who learns to grow through a constant comparison of who they once were and who they aspire to be. Lorrie isn't afraid to address the dissatisfaction that we sometimes feel as we get older but she handles it gracefully with humour and some brilliant take-home wisecracks that will really make you laugh.
I cant think who her writing style is comparable to but if I am pushed I would say Chuck Palahnuik and Carrie Fisher-ish. Definitely worth a read.