Biography (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
Ann Beattie was born in Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1947, the only child of Charlotte Crosby Beattie and James A. Beattie. She attended the Lafayette Elementary School and graduated from high school in Washington, D.C., in 1965. Her father was a grants management specialist for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. If Beattie did not find her early schooling very stimulating, she seems to have been preparing in some fashion for writing even during her childhood. In an interview with Patrick H. Samway, Beattie explained:
I was an only child. . . . It is often true of only children that they become watchers because they belong to small families and are tightly bonded to those units. . . . I am continually squirreling away situations that I don’t consciously realize are registering.
It was in college that she began to take literature seriously. She took a course with Frank Turaj, who, she says, “taught me how to read.” She received a B.A. degree from the American University in 1969 and matriculated as a graduate student in English at the University of Connecticut. It was there that she started submitting stories for publication; she received her master’s degree in 1970. “A Rose for Judy Garland’s Casket” was her first story published, and in the same year, 1972, she withdrew from the doctoral program. Beattie later...
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Biography (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
Beattie’s stories and novels demonstrate that she is, as she has said she hoped to be seen as, “astute about human behavior.” Her stories about people struggling to make their peace with the world and find contentedness have struck a strong chord with a generation of readers who came of age in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In her novel Picturing Will, she moved beyond her indirect portrayals of alienation to a depiction of a nurturing parent, a universal father.
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Biography (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Born on September 8, 1947, Ann Beattie grew up with television, rock music, and all the other accouterments of the baby boomers. The child of a retired Health, Education, and Welfare Department administrator, Beattie took a B.A. in English at American University in 1969 and completed her M.A. at the University of Connecticut in 1970. She began, but did not complete, work on her Ph.D. In 1972 she was married to, and was later divorced from, David Gates, a writer for Newsweek and a singer. Together they had one son. Before her appointment at Harvard, Beattie taught at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. After living in the Connecticut suburbs and in New York City, she returned to Charlottesville and the university in 1985. She appeared as a waitress in the film version of Chilly Scenes of Winter and, after her divorce, was named one of the most eligible single women in America. In 1985, Beattie met painter Lincoln Perry, whom she later married. The couple lived for a time in Charlottesville. Later, Beattie and Perry settled in a turn-of-the-century farmhouse in York, Maine, one of America’s oldest cities. Beattie says she does not go to book-publishing parties, does not know many writers, has an unlisted phone number, and shies away from writers’ colonies.
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Biography (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
The daughter of an administrator in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, James A. Beattie, and Charlotte Beattie (née Crosby), Ann Beattie was born in Washington, D.C., in 1947 and grew up in the city’s suburbs. As a child, she was encouraged to paint, read, and write. An avid scholar, she enrolled at American University in Washington, D.C., in 1966 and received her B.A. only three years later, in 1969. During this short tenure, she edited the university literary journal and was chosen by Mademoiselle magazine to be a guest editor in 1968. After her graduation, Beattie entered the M.A. program at the University of Connecticut as a graduate assistant to study eighteenth century literature. She received her degree in 1970 and began to work toward a doctorate; however, she quickly became frustrated and turned to writing short stories. It was then that—encouraged by her mentor, author John O’Hara&Mdash;she submitted several stories to small-press literary journals. She achieved moderate success with these publications, and in 1974, her story “A Platonic Relationship” was published by The New Yorker. Later that same year, The New Yorker printed two more of Beattie’s short stories, a signal of her arrival in the literary world. She quit the university to concentrate on her writing.
Beattie later served on the faculties of several universities as a writing instructor. In 1972 she married David Gates,...
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Born Charlotte Ann Beattie, the only child of a housewife and a government official, Ann Beattie has said that she developed an identity as an “adult-child” who, although dependable and mature, continued to surround herself with toys and called her writing a playtime activity. She has also suggested that as a teenager she suffered from an undiagnosed clinical depression. Her insightful depiction of too-mature children and of depressive personalities can be traced back to her own formative years. Beattie came into her own at American University, where she discovered literature, and went on to graduate work at the University of Connecticut. Finding the graduate program uninspiring, she turned to writing about her own peer group, who grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam War and whose experiments with sexual freedom and drug use produced a flourishing counterculture. Her marriage to the writer and musician David Gates followed a nontraditional route, with no plans for children and with a circle of friends replacing a network of family relations. Beattie’s life and work were peopled at this time by well-educated men and women in their late twenties or early thirties, living in comfortable country houses not too far from Manhattan and possessing the freedom and the funds to fly to Europe or to the West Coast, to break off marriages, blend new families, change jobs, partners, and sexual orientation at the prompting of their own desires, all the while listening to the...
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Ann Beattie (BEE-tee) is perhaps the most imitated short-story writer in America and one of the writers most identified with the minimalist school of fiction. She was born to middle-class parents—her father was an administrator in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare—and she grew up in Washington, D.C. In 1969, she earned a B.A. in English from American University and an M.A. from the University of Connecticut one year later. She began work toward a doctorate at Connecticut but left without completing the program. She was married to and later divorced from David Gates, who would become a writer for Newsweek and an acclaimed novelist. In 1988, she married her second husband, the painter Lincoln Perry. For a time, Beattie taught at Harvard University and the University of Virginia. Generally regarded as literature’s spokesperson for those who came into maturity in the 1960’s, she acknowledges the role that television, rock music, and the drugs often associated with the counterculture play in her work and in the lives of her characters. She resents, however, the tendency to ignore other aspects of her work because of the critical fascination with what critic Joseph Epstein has labeled the “hippoisie.”
Beattie began writing fiction while she was a student at the University of Connecticut, partly, she says, out of boredom with...
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IntroductionAnn Beattie is something of a paradox. Though she taught for several years (and even went to graduate school herself), she remains ambivalent about the benefits of university writing programs. By her own admission, she values education but does not always see a clear correlation between school and the eventual growth and development of a young writer. Beattie's own growth as a writer, however, is clearly attributable to her success in the short story form. In her hands, a short story is as satisfying as a long novel but still has the force of a quick, hard punch. Now considered one of the most important literary voices of the turbulent 1960s, Beattie frequently explores the strange, unpredictable nature of familial and romantic relationships.
- Beattie has received many honors, including a PEN award, for her achievement in the short story form.
- Beginning writers, take heart. Beattie had more than twenty of her stories rejected by The New Yorker before finally getting one published in the mid-1970s.
- Her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, was later adapted into a film of the same title starring John Heard and Mary Beth Hurt. Her novel is resoundingly considered the superior work.
- Beattie was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.
- Beattie is known for employing a dry wit in her portrayal of dissatisfied upper-class characters, earning her comparisons to John Updike.
Ann Beattie Criticism (Vol. 13)
Ann Beattie Criticism (Vol. 13)
Ann Beattie Criticism (Vol. 146)
Ann Beattie Criticism (Vol. 18)
Ann Beattie Criticism (Vol. 8)
Jacklighting Summary - Ann Beattie
The Big-Breasted Pilgrim Summary - Ann Beattie
The Cinderella Waltz Summary - Ann Beattie
Another You Review - Ann Beattie
My Life, Starring Dara Falcon Review - Ann Beattie
Park City Review - Ann Beattie
Perfect Recall Review - Ann Beattie
The Burning House Review - Ann Beattie
In 1947 Ann Beattie was born in Washington, D.C. She grew up in a middle-class suburb and graduated near the bottom of her class in 1965. She attributed her poor academic record to a lack of interest; in an interview with Gene Lyons, she stated that she believes she was clinically depressed during her high school years.
She attended American University, where she earned a degree in English in just three years. In 1970 she received a M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut. Although she began work on a Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, she did not complete it, dropping out after a few of her stories were published.
In 1973 Beattie published her first major short story, ‘‘Victor Blue,’’ in Atlantic Monthly. In 1974 the New Yorker published the story ‘‘A Platonic Relationship.’’ Beattie became a regular contributor to the New Yorker.
‘‘Janus’’ first appeared in the May 27, 1985, issue of the New Yorker. It was published later in the collection Where You’ll Find Me, and has often been singled out as one of Beattie’s best stories. In her popular novels and short fiction, she continues to chronicle the lives of men and women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s.
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Ann Beattie was born in Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1947, and grew up in the Washington suburbs. She attended American University in the 1960s where she majored in English, studying writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and John Updike. These writers clearly influenced Beattie’s writing. She completed a master’s degree at the University of Connecticut, and although she began work on a Ph.D., she did not complete the degree once she began having success publishing her stories.
It was while she worked with writer J. D. O’Hara during the early years of the 1970s that Beattie began placing her stories in such prestigious publications as the Atlantic and the Virginia Quarterly. After rejecting twenty of her stories, the New Yorker published “A Platonic Relationship” in 1974, leading Beattie to a long association with the magazine. “Imagined Scenes” was first published in the Texas Quarterly in the summer of 1974.
In 1976, Beattie published her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, and her first collection of short stories, Distortions, which included many of her New Yorker stories as well as “Imagined Scenes.” Both books received mixed reviews; however, it was clear from the beginning that Beattie’s would be a voice to be reckoned with in contemporary fiction.
Since her first books, Beattie has published fifteen books, including Perfect...
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