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.
"Magnificant, a pleasure, a significant literary debut." --The New
"Life as it is lived...One doesn't know whether to cheer or weep, but one goes on reading." --Detroit Free Press
"[Beattie is] a writer's writer." --Boston Evening Globe
"Ann Beattie is both painful and funny. She is a writer for all audiences, combining a remarkable array of skills with mateial of wide popular appeal. Her characters inhabit our contemporary world and brood like us about their loves, families, and lives. They compose a wide-screen panorama of life in these United States." --The New York Times Book Review