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Birds of America

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The world of Lorrie Moore — hand-wringing, painfully lucid author of Self Help — has grown at once sleeker and more complicated. Moore’s bitter, literate protagonists are still at loose ends, knit together by her signature wordplay. But in Birds of America, a collection of 12 short stories, they’re older and, per the title, exhibiting different migratory patterns, like the in-laws who reveal themselves, hilariously, through ”Charades.” And she has a new device in her employ: frenetic, Tom Wolfe-ish exclamation points, as if to say, ”Look, I’m really here!” Look, we know. A-