A Gate at the Stairs

Lorrie Moore

With America quietly gearing up for war in the Middle East, twenty-year-old Tassie Keltjin, a ‘half-Jewish’ farmer’s daughter from the plains of the Midwest, has come to university – escaping her provincial home to encounter the complex world of culture and politics.

When she takes a job as a part-time nanny to a couple who seem at once mysterious and glamorous, Tassie is drawn into the life of their newly-adopted child and increasingly complicated household. As her past becomes increasingly alien to her – her parents seem older when she visits; her disillusioned brother ever more fixed on joining the military – Tassie finds herself becoming a stranger to herself. As the year unfolds, love leads her to new and formative experiences [ but it is then that the past and the future burst forth in dramatic and shocking ways. Refracted through the eyes of this memorable narrator, A Gate at the Stairs is a lyrical, beguiling and wise novel of our times.

Explore the other winners

Winner announced - 9th September

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    8% 244 / 2.7k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    3% 86 / 2.7k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 47 / 2.7k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 26 / 2.7k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    1% 33 / 2.7k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 22 / 2.7k
  • Bel Canto
    5% 147 / 2.7k
  • Property
    0% 20 / 2.7k
  • Small Island
    13% 364 / 2.7k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    9% 269 / 2.7k
  • On Beauty
    5% 140 / 2.7k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    27% 748 / 2.7k
  • The Road Home
    2% 80 / 2.7k
  • Home
    3% 106 / 2.7k
  • The Lacuna
    3% 101 / 2.7k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 54 / 2.7k
  • The Song of Achilles
    21% 594 / 2.7k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 45 / 2.7k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    3% 107 / 2.7k
  • How to be Both
    5% 156 / 2.7k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    3% 84 / 2.7k
  • The Power
    7% 202 / 2.7k
  • Home Fire
    8% 246 / 2.7k
  • An American Marriage
    8% 243 / 2.7k
  • Hamnet
    0% 15 / 2.7k
Tell us your thoughts and win our 2020 shortlist!

Tell us your thoughts about the Women's Prize for Fiction's online offerings.

The survey will take 5-10 minutes, max, and as a thank you for your time, you’ll get a chance to win all six books on this year's Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist, including the 2020 winner Hamnet. 

Take the survey