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Ann Beattie - book author

Ann Beattie (born September 8, 1947) is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She holds an undergraduate degree from American University and a masters degree from the University of Connecticut.

Ann Beattie is the author of books: Chilly Scenes of Winter, Walks with Men, The New Yorker Stories, The State We're In: Maine Stories, Where You'll Find Me and Other Stories, Falling in Place, The Accomplished Guest, Picturing Will, Love Always, Distortions

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01
This is the story of a love-smitten Charles; his friend Sam, the Phi Beta Kappa and former coat salesman; and Charles' mother, who spends a lot of time in the bathtub feeling depressed.
02
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.
03
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.

04
From a multiple prize–winning master of the short form: a stunning collection of brand-new, linked stories that perfectly capture the zeitgeist through the voices of vivid and engaging women from adolescence to old age.

“We build worlds for ourselves wherever we go,” writes Ann Beattie. The State We’re In, her magnificent new collection of linked stories, is about how we live in the places we have chosen—or been chosen by. It’s about the stories we tell our families, our friends, and ourselves, the truths we may or may not see, how our affinities unite or repel us, and where we look for love.

Many of these stories are set in Maine, but The State We’re In is about more than geographical location, and certainly is not a picture postcard of the coastal state. Some characters have arrived by accident, others are trying to get out. The collection opens, closes, and is interlaced with stories that focus on Jocelyn, a wryly disaffected teenager living with her aunt and uncle while attending summer school. As in life, the narratives of other characters interrupt Jocelyn’s, sometimes challenging, sometimes embellishing her view.

Riveting, witty, sly, idiosyncratic, and bold, these stories describe a state of mind, a manner of being—now. A 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.” The State We’re In is a fearless exploration of contemporary life by a brilliant writer whose fiction startles as it illuminates.
05
Hailed by the "Washington Post Book World" as "one of our era's most vital masters of the short form," Ann Beattie offers readers unforgettable glimpses of people coming to terms with the world around them. Most of the characters in "Where You'll Find Me" grew up in the 1960s and 1970s; when we meet them they are in their twenties and thirties and embody a curious, yet familiar, fusion of hope and despair. In finely crafted, often surprising narratives, Beattie writes of women nursing broken hearts, men looking for love, and married couples struggling to stay together.
06
An unsettling novel that traces the faltering orbits of the members of one family from a hidden love triangle to the ten-year-old son whose problem may pull everyone down.
07
* A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of the Year

A magnificent new collection from award-winning author Ann Beattie—featuring recent O. Henry, Pushcart, and Best American Short Story selections.

Surprising and revealing, set along the East Coast from Maine to Key West, Ann Beattie’s astutely observed new collection explores unconventional friendships, frustrated loves, mortality, and aging.

One theme of The Accomplished Guest is people paying visits or receiving visitors, traveling to see old friends, the joys and tolls of hosting company (and of being hosted). The occasion might be a wedding, a birthday, a reunion, an annual Christmas party, or another opportunity to gather and attempt to bond with biological relatives or chosen families. In some stories, as in life, what begins as a benign social event becomes a situation played for high stakes.

The stories in The Accomplished Guest are marked by an undercurrent of loss and an unexpected element of violence, with Beattie’s signature mordant humor woven throughout. Some characters provide welcome diversions, others are uninvited interruptions, all are indelibly drawn by the endlessly amusing and accomplished Ann Beattie.

Beattie’s debut collection Distortions was published forty years ago, but her writing is as fresh, funny, and relevant as ever. She is “a national treasure, the author of short stories that will endure and continue to inspire” (Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review).
08
Picturing Will, the widely acclaimed novel by Ann Beattie, unravels the complexities of a postmodern family. There's Will, a curious five-year-old who listens to the heartbeat of a plant through his toy stethoscope; Jody, his mother, a photographer poised on the threshold of celebrity; Mel, Jody's perfect -- perhaps too perfect -- lover; and Wayne, the rather who left Will without warning and now sees his infrequent visits as a crimp in his bedhopping. Beattie shows us how these lives intersect, attract, and repel one another with dazzling shifts and moments of heartbreaking directness.


From the Trade Paperback edition.