For more than twenty-five years, Ann Beattie's short fiction has held a mirror up to America, portraying its awkwardly welded families, its loosely coupled couples, and much-uprooted children with acuity, humor, and compassion. This triumphant collection includes thirty-six of the finest stories of her career including eight new pieces that have not appeared in a book before.
Beattie's characters embark on stoned cross-country odysseys with lovers who may leave them before the engine cools. They comfort each other amid the ashes of failed relationships and in hospital waiting rooms. They try to locate themselves in a world where all the old landmarks have been turned into theme parks. Funny and sorrowful, fiercely compressed yet emotionally
expansive, Park City is dazzling.
Born in 1947, Ann Beattie grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., attended college at American University, and went on to do graduate work in English literature at the University of Connecticut. She began writing stories out of frustration with her doctoral work. After rejecting twenty-two submissions, The New Yorker published Beattie's "A Platonic Relationship" in 1974, and Beattie became a regular contributor to the magazine. Her first collection of stories, Distortions, and her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, appeared simultaneously in 1976 and initiated a long-standing critical debate as to whether Beattie's greater strength is in the story or the novel. All critics agree, however, on the uniqueness of her style and her uncanny ability to expose certain truths about contemporary life, particularly as it lived by those of her own generation and social class. She lives in Maine and Key West with her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry.