In a literary world obsessed with Franzenesque Big Novels, the release of a book of short stories rarely counts as a marquee event. An exception to the rule: Bark, Lorrie Moore's first collection since 1998's bestselling, multiple-award-winning Birds of America, featuring eight mordant, off-kilter tales. Take, for example, "Debarking," in which a newly divorced dad is set up with a slightly cracked pediatrician who invites her painfully awkward teenage son to accompany them on a date. And that's just for starters—wait until you get to the biker gang that crashes a wedding.
Knopf; out February 25.