In Hazlitt, Naomi Skwarna writes about using the writing of Lorrie Moore as a mother substitute:
Living without a mother is a freedom by turns radical and excruciating. It is swimming in the ocean, and Moore’s writing was what made me feel moored again. Her books contained the secrets of womanhood, stories about mothers and daughters and the tensions between them. She wrote about failing women and thriving women and stupid women and basic women. Women were bright in the foreground; male characters figured into a world hewn by a female hand. As a 16-year-old daunted by every personal interaction, Birds of America was what I imagined it would feel like to have maternal wisdom whispered into my ear while the stubborn knots were worked from my hair.