Degrees of Nakedness


160 pages
ISBN 1-55128-023-X
DDC C813'.54






Reviewed by Gildas Roberts

Gildas Roberts is the author of Gander Snatch.


Lisa Moore’s “stories” are fragmentary, disconnected, crammed with
images, witty, and allusive; they have no truck with any old nonsense to
do with beginnings, middles, and endings. Or telling a story. Their
chief cohesive force is imagery. Taken in isolation, Moore’s images
are powerful: “Under the surface, the cliff was gouged away, a dark
mouth. I imagined it was dense with eels.” (Edgar Allan Poe and
Lawrence Durrell would have liked that one.) When too many of them are
strung together, however, the images fizzle and splutter, losing much of
their force.

At a time when poetry is opening up and once again becoming accessible
to the common reader, it is sad to see prose like this collection going
in quite the opposite direction—a pity for both the reader and the
writer. Lisa Moore has a towering talent, acute insight, and a wonderful
sense of humor that prompts many a deep-fetched guffaw. The trouble with
her stories is that they’re academic and elitist, written for and read
by only the like-minded few. Would that she could throw off the
prescriptive strictures of the prim silvae Academi and let ’er rip.


Moore, Lisa., “Degrees of Nakedness,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,