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Conversations with Ann Beattie

Edited by Dawn Trouard

DECEMBER, 208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, chronology, index

978-1-61703-693-4 Paper $30.00D

Paper, $30.00

"I don't write about things that I have the answers to or things that are very close to home. It just wouldn't be any adventure."

Ann Beattie (b. 1947) published both her first novel (Chilly Scenes of Winter) and her first short story collection (Secrets and Surprises) in 1976. Her prose features ironic wit and a dry, matter-of-fact tone. Political and familial disillusionment are frequent themes. She is, for many, the ideal representative of American realistic fiction from the 1980s and 1990s. She has often been called a minimalist, the "voice of her generation," and the "quintessential New Yorker fiction writer."

Conversations with Ann Beattie goes beyond these views to reveal a dynamic writer who plays with aesthetic form, gender stereotypes, and all conventional notions about relationships. In interviews ranging from 1979 to 2004, Beattie discusses her evolving craft, resists the labels placed on her, and articulates her vision of contemporary life. She frequently notes the connection between her prose style and methods of photography, commenting that she intends for her stories and novels to capture scenes and small slices of life rather than broad overviews. By turns sharp, funny, and loquacious, Beattie comes across as a writer very different from her frequently reticent characters who have great difficulty communicating.

This collection includes interviews from such publications as the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, as well as a new interview conducted by the volume's editor.

Dawn Trouard is a professor of English at the University of Central Florida. She is the author, with Edwin T. Arnold, of Reading Faulkner: Sanctuary (University Press of Mississippi) and editor of Eudora Welty: Eye of the Storyteller.

DECEMBER, 208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, chronology, index