Fiction Ann Beattie Perfect Recall

ISBN 13: 9780743211697

Perfect Recall

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9780743211697: Perfect Recall

A moving and beautifully written collection of short stories from the award-winning author of FALLING IN PLACE (Vintage). Ann Beattie published her first short story in The New Yorker in 1972. Twenty-eight years later, she received the 2000 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is, as the Washington Post said, "one of our era's most vital masters of the short form." The eleven stories in her new work are peopled by characters coming to terms with the legacies of long-held family myths or confronting altered circumstances, new frailty or sudden, unlikely success. Beattie's ear for language, her complex and subtle wit, and her profound compassion are unparalleled. From the elegiac story "The Famous Poet, Amid Bougainvillea," in which two men trade ruminations on illness, art, and servitude, to "The Big-Breasted Pilgrim," wherein a famous chef gets a series of bewildering phone calls from George Stephanopoulos, PERFECT RECALL comprises Beattie's strongest work in years. It is a riveting commentary on the way we live now by a spectacular prose artist.

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About the Author:

Ann Beattie has published six previous collections of stories and six novels. She and her husband, Lincoln Perry, live in Maine and Key West, Florida.

From Publishers Weekly:

The 1998 publication of Park City, a collection of new and selected stories, sparked a much-deserved revival of interest in Beattie, one of the most underappreciated of major contemporary writers. Now, Beattie rewards longtime fans and new readers alike with 11 deft, pitch-perfect stories. Plunging straight into the living rooms and back yards where her first-name-only protagonists gather to converse, complain, eat, drink and cook, Beattie gets to the evasive, impatient heart of 21st-century living. In clear, graceful prose, she presents a range of characters, from a penniless war veteran who must endure the "revenge of the ordinary world" ("Hurricane Carleyville") to a culinary celebrity who vacations in Key West and anticipates preparing an impromptu meal for President Clinton ("The Big-Breasted Pilgrim"). In "The Famous Poet, Amid Bougainvillea," Beattie's subtle, satiric wit comes to play as Hopper and Randy, assistants to rich artists, reminisce about the past and creak through the daily motions of living in bodies that have failed them. Similar themes of dependence and vulnerability arise in the emotionally charged "The Women of This World." Adeptly depicting the dynamics between Dale; her ditzy mother-in-law, Brenda; her scholarly husband, Nelson; and her shrewdly malevolent father-in-law, Jerome, Beattie juxtaposes Nelson and Jerome's struggle for perfection in life, music and wine with a terrible tragedy that causes Dale to ruminate on humanity's inherent imperfection. Beattie still captures the zeitgeist like no one else, effortlesslyDor so it seemsDrevealing the sudden intimacies and sweet ironies of a crowded, improbable world. Only when she touches down, light as a trapeze artist, at the end of a tale, does the reader become aware of the perfect arcs she traces. (Jan.) Forecast: Beattie won the 2000 Pen/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction. If her mastery of the form is highlighted by booksellers, discerning readersDalready drawn to this title for its colorful, pointillist coverDshould buy.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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