American Short Story Writer and Novelist
Ann Beattie, American writer of short stories and novels whose characters, having come of age in the 1960s, often have difficulties adjusting to the cultural values of later generations. Beattie graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., in 1969 and received a master of arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1970. Her…
Ann Beattie, American writer of short stories and novels whose characters, having come of age in the 1960s, often have difficulties adjusting to the cultural values of later generations.
Beattie graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., in 1969 and received a master of arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1970. Her short stories were published in The New Yorker and other literary magazines beginning in the early 1970s. She published her first collection of stories, Distortions, in 1976. Her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, also appeared in 1976; it was subsequently adapted as the film Head over Heels (1979), which was later rereleased as Chilly Scenes of Winter (1982).
Beattie’s characters are usually passive, alienated people who cannot extricate themselves from unsatisfying careers and lives. In detached, unemotional prose Beattie chronicles their unfulfilling lives. In her early works, there is little examination of motivation, but the depth of her characters increases in her later works. Historical background is usually absent. Beattie’s stripped-down style was variously praised as reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway’s minimalism and criticized as detached and shallow.
Other collections of her stories include Secrets and Surprises (1978), The Burning House (1982), Where You’ll Find Me, and Other Stories (1986), Park City (1998), Perfect Recall (2001), Follies (2005), and The State We’re In: Maine Stories (2015), all of which chronicle the vagaries of human attempts at communication and connection. Other novels include Falling in Place (1980) and Picturing Will (1989). Another You (1995) tells the story of a cynical English professor and his adulterous wife, and My Life, Starring Dara Falcon (1997) is an exploration of the relationship between a young woman in a dead-end marriage and a manipulative aspiring actress.
The Doctor’s House (2002) portrays the impact of a despicable father and an alcoholic mother on their adult children. In the unconventional novel Mrs. Nixon (2011), Beattie imagined the life of first lady Pat Nixon and also discussed the art of writing.
Her other works include the children’s book Spectacles (1985), which deals with the supernatural, and Alex Katz (1987), a collection of essays in art criticism.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Ann Beattie
Ann Beattie in Conversation with Michael Silverblatt
Brattleboro Literary Festival 2015: Ann Beattie
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