Ann Beattie Speaker Feb. 8

Author Ann Beattie To speak at the Friends of the Library series
Author Ann Beattie
To speak at the Friends of the Library series

As the next author to speak during its 2016 speaker series, long-time winter resident Ann Beattie will take the podium for the Friends of the Key West Library on Monday, Feb. 8 at 6:00 p.m. The series takes place at the Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Admission is free. Doors open at 5:30.

Ann Beattie published her first short story in the New Yorker in 1974 and has been chronicling the lives of her generation ever since.

She told an interviewer for the Paris Review. “When I started writing seriously, there wasn’t another short-story writer I wanted to emulate. Many I hugely admired, but I didn’t think of patterning my stories on others, for better or for worse. I guess the brevity, the pose of writing a hands-off narrative, the tone, came as a surprise to many readers,”

Beattie has published 10 collections of short stories, eight novels, and has been widely anthologized. She has received awards for excellence from the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Her work was so definitive that for a time there was talk of a “Beattie generation.”

“I don’t think any serious writer wants to be called the spokesperson for their generation,” the author has said. “It doesn’t hurt book sales, it might even have an effect on your ego if you hear that sort of thing and think, Oh great! But I’m a pretty skeptical person, and the whole Beattie generation idea wasn’t anything I had any control over. I couldn’t make it come, I couldn’t make it go. I was always philosophical about it,” she said.

“Beattie’s stories are a master class in narrative technique,” wrote William Deresiewicz in The Nation. “Beattie is an artist of silence, of the things we don’t say or can’t, the things that find expression anyway. She is an artist of the space between the words—of commas and dashes and periods; of section breaks, blank spaces that her characters seem to hit as if running into a wall.”

Ann Beattie and her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry, have wintered in Old Town Key West for many years.
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