Burning House by Ann Beattie

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The now-classic, utterly unique voice of Ann Beattie is so dry it throws off sparks, her eye endowed with the emotional equivalent of X-ray vision. Her characters are young men and women discovering what it means to be a grown-up in a country that promised them they'd stay young forever. And here, in shapely, penetrating stories, Beattie confirms why she is one of the most widely imitated -- yet surely inimitable -- literary stylists of her generation.

In The Burning House, Beattie's characters go from dealing drugs to taking care of a bereaved friend. They watch their marriages fail not with a bang but with a wisecrack. And afterward, they may find themselves trading confidences with their spouses' new lovers. The Burning House proves that Beattie has no peer when it comes to revealing the hidden shapes of our relationships, or the depths of tenderness, grief, and anger that lie beneath the surfaces of our daily lives.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ann Beattie

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Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections and in John Updike’s The Best American Short Stories of the Century. In 2000, she received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story form. In 2005, she received the Rea Award for the Short Story. She and her husband, Lincoln Perry, live in Key West, Florida, and Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.
Published March 30, 2011 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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(In "Playback," the friendship of two women circles again through envy and jealousy--bringing death to a love, to an unborn child.) Beattie's apprehensive children "seem older now": in "The Cinderella Waltz," a resentful and unhappy eight-year-old awaits her glass slippers from Daddy, the slipper...

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Burning House

The Paris Review

Aside from admiring her effortless, cool prose, I was drawn to Beattie’s gay characters.

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Burning House

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