Walks With Men by Ann Beattie
Fiction

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Synopsis

Ann Beattie arrived in New York young, observant and celebrated (as The New Yorker’s young fiction star) in one of the most compelling and creative eras of recent times. So does the protagonist of her intense new novella, Walks with Men.

It is 1980 in New York City, and Jane, a valedictorian fresh out of Harvard, strikes a deal with Neil, an intoxicating writer twenty years her senior. The two quickly become lovers, living together in a Chelsea brownstone, and Neil reveals the rules for a life well lived: If you take food home from a restaurant, don’t say it’s because you want leftovers for "the dog." Say that you want the bones for "a friend who does autopsies." If you can’t stand on your head (which is best), learn to do cartwheels. Have sex in airplane bathrooms. Wear only raincoats made in England. Neil’s certainties, Jane discovers, mask his deceptions. Her true education begins.

"One of our era’s most vital masters of the short form" (The Washington Post), Beattie brilliantly captures a time, a place and a style of engagement. Her voice is original and iconic.
 

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 June 4, 2010 by Scribner. 112 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Walks With Men

Kirkus Reviews

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The 16th work of fiction by Beattie (Follies, 2005, etc.), which begins in 1980.

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

The New York Times

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Ann Beattie’s first new book in five years is a novella set in the early 1980s, her heyday.

Jun 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

The New York Times

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In Ann Beattie’s novella of New York in the 1980s, a woman develops a relationship with an older man who offers instructions on how to live.

Jul 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

The New York Times

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Set in the early ’80s, Beattie’s novella is the story of an older man instructing a young literarily inclined woman in the ways of the world, even though she soon begins to see through him.

Jun 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

Chron.com

Walks With Men works best as a study of how to tell a story.

Jun 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

Bookmarks Magazine

On the other hand, the Miami Herald praised Beattie for "kick[ing] away all the scaffolding of psychobabble and pathography and let[ting] the story tell itself."

Jun 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

California Literary Review

Her life, as Neil had promised, had changed—but it’s hard to know how much of a role he—or she—had in changing it.

Aug 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Walks With Men: Fiction

Reader Rating for Walks With Men
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