Birds of America is a 1998 collection of short stories by award-winning author Lorrie Moore.
== Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People ==
- And so they drove on. The night before, a whole day could have shape and design. But when it was upon you, it could vanish tragically to air.
- Abby began to think that all the beauty and ugliness and turbulence one found scattered through nature, one could also find in people themselves, all collected there, all together in a single place. No matter what terror or loveliness the earth could produce- wind, seas- a person could produce the same, lived with the same, lived with all that mixed-up nature swirling inside, every bit. There was nothing as complex in the world- no flower or stone- as a single hello from a human being.
== Community Life ==
- But she had no memory of how to be brave. Here, it seemed, she had no memories at all. Nothing triggered them. And once in a while, when shegave voice to the fleeting edge of one, it seemed like something she was making up.
== Agnes of Iowa ==
- As a vacuum cleaner can start to pull up the actual thread of a carpet, her brains had been sucked dry by too much yoga.
- "Where?" The woman scowled, bewildered.
"Iowa," Agnes repeated loudly.
The woman in black touched Agnes's wrist and leaned in confidentially. She moved her mouth in a concerned and exaggerated way, like a facial exercise. "No, dear," she said. "Here we say O-hi-o."
- "The United States- how can you live in that country?" the man had asked. Agnes had shrugged. "A lot of my stuff is there," she'd said, and it was then that she first felt all the dark love and shame that came from the pure accident of home, the deep and arbitary place that happened to be yours.
- Every arrangement in life carried with it the sadness, the sentimental shadow, of its not being something else, but only itself.
== Beautiful Grade ==
- Every songwriter in their smallest song seems to possess some monumental grief clarified and dignified by melody, Bill thinks. His own sadnesses, on the other hand, slosh about in his life in a low-key way, formless and self-consuming.
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