A collection of astringent, exhilarating essays

Claire Messud at The Guardian:

All who have loved Lorrie Moore’s fiction since her first marvellous short story collection Self-Help (1985) will be keen to read See What Can Be Done, an anthology, albeit not comprehensive, of her critical writings and essays since the 1980s. Those who have not yet discovered her might best begin with the fiction and save this collection for later, not because it doesn’t merit attention but because Moore’s incisive, often mordant yet exhilarating pieces illuminate the trajectory of a literary artist’s aesthetic evolution, and enhance an understanding of her fiction. They give us a cumulative sense of how the frank, savvy, tragicomic sensibility so evident in her stories and novels reverberates in the wider context, whether she is discussing the fiction of Ann Beattie or Alice Munro, TV series such as The Wire or True Detective, or Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign.

more here.