The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie

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Balancing this difficulty is the verve with which Beattie constructs her narrative. The reader is immediately engaged with the characters, in part because that reader knows something unfortunate and unpleasant is probably going to happen to them.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

When Ann Beattie began publishing short stories in The New Yorker in the mid-seventies, she emerged with a voice so original, and so uncannily precise and prescient in its assessment of her characters’ drift and narcissism, that she was instantly celebrated as a voice of her generation. Her name became an adjective: Beattiesque. Subtle, wry, and unnerving, she is a master observer of the unraveling of the American family, and also of the myriad small occurrences and affinities that unite us. Her characters, over nearly four decades, have moved from lives of fickle desire to the burdens and inhibitions of adulthood and on to failed aspirations, sloppy divorces, and sometimes enlightenment, even grace.

Each Beattie story, says Margaret Atwood, is "like a fresh bulletin from the front: we snatch it up, eager to know what’s happening out there on the edge of that shifting and dubious no-man’s-land known as interpersonal relations." With an unparalleled gift for dialogue and laser wit, she delivers flash reports on the cultural landscape of her time. Ann Beattie: The New Yorker Stories is the perfect initiation for readers new to this iconic American writer and a glorious return for those who have known and loved her work for decades.
 

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 November 16, 2010 by Scribner. 533 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Dec 03 2010

Balancing this difficulty is the verve with which Beattie constructs her narrative. The reader is immediately engaged with the characters, in part because that reader knows something unfortunate and unpleasant is probably going to happen to them.

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