“She punctures her characters’ pretensions and jadedness with an economy and effortless dialogue that writers have been trying to emulate for three decades, though few, if any, have matched her seamless combination of biting wit and mordant humor, precise irony and consummate cool.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“One of America’s finest authors—and arguably best living short-story writer.”
—Heidi Julavits, Interview
“In a Beattie story, perspective is preeminent, and it’s never one you expect. The unwieldiness of human nature, the strangeness of time and circumstance, inevitably shine through."
—Megan O'Grady, Vogue
“Ann Beattie slips into a short story as flawlessly as Audrey Hepburn wore a Givenchy gown.”
—Hamilton Cain, O, The Oprah Magazine
“She is brilliant at furnishing the precise level of niggling complexity that is tragicomically real.”
—Joan Frank, The San Francisco Chronicle
"The John Cheever of her generation, Beattie has long chronicled the emotional foibles of [the] upper-middle-class... with sharply chiseled wit; in these 13 new stories, travel or a visit of some sort is the common thread, mortality the common theme."
"Beattie’s stories capture the perplexity of people, lost in a world of terrorists and Kindles, as they make their way down what Beattie calls ‘the river of life’s confusion.’”
"These gorgeously complicated, psychologically astute tales are catalyzed by holiday gatherings, weddings, birthday celebrations, and reunions, joyous occasions wildly derailed by divorce, sibling rivalry, generational clashes, financial disasters, violence, and medical emergencies. The directions in which these encounters veer are beyond unexpected, thanks to Beattie’s puckish imagination… Beattie’s profoundly intriguing and unsettling stories abound in delectably witty and furious inner monologues, barbed dialogue, ludicrous predicaments, many faceted heartaches, and abrupt upswellings of affection, even love... always on point, funny, and poignant."
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)