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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
"A generous, very welcome volume of stories from one of the most influential masters of the form." —Publishers Weekly
Famous for her spare, unsentimental fiction about aimless youth and ambivalent love, Ann Beattie has often been called the chronicler of her generation. Since her work first appeared in The New Yorker more than two decades ago, Beattie's stories have lost none of their wistful appeal or satirical bite. And neither has the author.
The 36 stories of Park City — including eight published for the first time, plus a generous selection from her earlier collections — give us Ann Beattie at stunning midcareer. Park City captures perfectly the moods and actions of our world in the '70s, '80s, and '90s: people on the go, living in group houses, smoking too much weed, contracting AIDS, and dying young; or getting jobs, settling down, having children, splitting up, coming to terms, and looking back on life.
Emotionally complex, insightful, and funny, the stories of Park City cover a wide range of tone and feeling. To Beattie fans, her themes will ring familiar. A woman grieving over a lost child comforts her husband with an extraordinary act of tenderness. A peripatetic man tries to ground himself in the universe. An intricate dance of adultery breaks up a marriage. A housekeeper experiences a startling epiphany while looking into her freezer one steamy summer evening. The long, comic roll of a couple's "four-night fight" finally explodes into joy. In an AIDS ward, particular questions take on special meaning.
Inproseboth lyrical and searing, these memorable, evocative stories recall the details and emotions of past and present eras. They speak to our minds and our hearts and are truly timeless. Kirkus Reviews says, "Beattie's spare, unfussy style, her pitch-perfect ear for the manner in which we really speak to one another, and her sharp analysis of the ways in which disaffection and loss deform relationships and character are all abundantly on display here.... Beattie is a perceptive and unsettling writer."