'The New Yorker Stories' by Ann Beattie
Beattie's voice, and concerns, have evolved over the decades.
The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie (HANDOUT / October 12, 2011)
Beattie's voice, and concerns, evolve over the decades. Her early stories are distinguished by their minimalism, which was so imitated by a generation of writers. Her first story in the volume, "A Platonic Relationship," is about a woman who leaves her suburban house and lawyer husband for a job as a high school music teacher, living in a house with "splintery floors that had to be covered by rugs." The last stories in the volume are of later life concerns — Alzheimer's disease, disappointment with children. Together they feel like an intimate, and urgent, set of dispatches from the emotional front of the past, one we might have neglected, repressed or forgotten without Beattie's imagination.
'The New Yorker Stories'
By Ann Beattie
Scribner, 514 pages (paperback), $18