FOR: Worst NEW YORKER Story Writer of All Time.
The winner is--
Lorrie Moore! (Applause, applause.)
There was great competition for this. Any other of the Finalists would've been a worthy winner. Several-- Updike; Munro: those ultimate practitioners of Detail Disease-- would've been too obvious. They've inflicted the world with just so many of their stale fictions it's gone beyond the ridiculous.
Tom Beller, by contrast, has written only a couple NEW YORKER stories, but each one well fit the mold; so typically perfectly useless.
Lorrie Moore over the years has achieved just the right balance. A perfect representative of the magazine, she has insipidity in personality and prose down to an art:
"But she was pushing forty. She began to linger in juice bars. Sit for entire afternoons in places called I Love Juicy or Orange-U-Sweet."
This is hilarious only if one laughs AT it. The trauma of a bourgeois lifestyle. Or, the Stupidity of Contemporary America-- a subject Ms. Moore knows well.
Lorrie Moore is what I call a House Cat writer. She has the sensitivity and intelligence of a pampered cat. You know the kind-- with flat face and oceans of white fur shedding over the green silk pillow the fat animal has parked itself on in the middle of the Sun Room in the spacious house; blinking stupidly but believing in its own wisdom as it notes the comings and goings of stupid humans, then jots its observations down in a notebook and sells them to THE NEW YORKER.