In The State We're In: Maine Stories (Scribner), Ann Beattie deftly and effortlessly takes the ingredients that make up short stories and shakes them up to create something new and beautiful. And though Ann makes a deliberate effort to hide her narrative voice, her writing reveals her to be a bit of a trickster – the stories can turn to kitsch and to sorrow in a subtle instant. It's the kind of writing that cannot be taught, but she insists that she has witnessed young novices move by light years.
Read an excerpt from The State We're In.
Photo: Sigrid Estrada