Aldridge, John. “Less Is a Lot Less (Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, Frederick Barthelme).” In Talents and Technicians. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1992.
Atwood, Margaret. “Stories from the American Front.” The New York Times Book Review, September 26, 1982, 1, 34. Discusses The Burning House as it represents the loss of the American dream for the children of the 1960’s. For Beattie, freedom equals the chance to take off, run away, split. Beattie’s stories chronicle domesticity gone awry, where there are dangers and threats lurking beneath the surface of even the most mundane events. Observes that most of the stories in this collection concern couples in the process of separating.
Barth, John. “A Few Words About Minimalism.” The New York Times Book Review, December 28, 1986, 1, 2, 25. Explores Beattie’s spare style and considers her fiction as it represents a current stylistic trend in the American short story. Spends a considerable amount of space describing the origins of the contemporary minimalist movement in American short fiction. Sees this form as a nonverbal statement about theme: the spareness of life in America. Places Beattie’s work among that of other minimalists, including Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason, James Robison, Mary Robison, and Tobias Wolff. Discusses Edgar Allan Poe as an early proponent of minimalism. Says that Beattie’s fiction is clearly shaped by the events surrounding the Vietnam War. A helpful essay for gaining an understanding of Beattie as a minimalist.
Beattie, Ann. “An Interview with Ann Beattie.” Interview by Steven R. Centola. Contemporary Literature 31 (Winter, 1990): 405-422. Provides biographical information and background on Beattie’s fiction. Beattie discusses herself as a feminist writer and how she goes about creating credible male protagonists. Discusses Falling in Place, Love Always, Chilly Scenes of Winter, and Picturing Will.
Berman, Jaye, ed. The Critical Response to Ann Beattie. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993. Includes contemporary reaction to Beattie’s novels and collections of short stories, as well as scholarly and academic analyses of her work by various critics.
Gelfant, Blanche H. “Ann Beattie’s Magic Slate: Or, The End of the Sixties.” New England Review 1 (1979): 374-384. Examines Beattie’s short stories as reflecting the concerns of adults who came of age during the hippie years. Discusses Beattie’s desolate landscapes and the pervading sense of doom found in much of her fiction. Focuses on Secrets and Surprises and Distortions, saying that they are a requiem for the freedom...