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Beattie, Ann – Criticism

Ann Beattie’s writings deal with the “Wood Stock Generation” of those who were
idealistic dreamers during the era of the 1960’s. In her fiction it is expressed the features
of characters trapped in the dissatisfaction of lost idealism and a search for meaning
during their day-to-day routine. Frequently they look for replacing their lost ideology in
spite of being burned out emotionally in the cynicism of American way of life.

She is considered a writer that smooths the sadness and the eccentricities of a
disconnected generation. Her main characters are usually sophisticated people who feel
a sense of loss when trying to bring together the idealistic values of their youth with the
present ones. Beattie does not search their inner motivations; instead, she highlights
their external settings, providing distinctive characteristics and presenting details,
including recurrent allusions to consumer goods and popular films and songs.

In Park City (1998), her recent collection of short stories, the “Wood Stock
Generation” from early to middle age is chronicled. “Park City is […] a book that should
win the admiration of short story writers and readers everywhere for it pointed
reminder of Beattie’s unshakably intelligent, deep hearted, long and unsurpassed
duration to the form” (MOORE).

Beattie through her short stories stresses characters who have never
accomplished success. Her works are multifaceted in their sensibility of time and
images of people. They are fascinating in the apprehensions of familiarity of present life
and the volatility of future events.

MORE, Lorrie. A house divided.


http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/98/06/28/reviews/980628.28moor.html June
28, 1998