“Ann Beattie at her most magnificent…Her first new collection in ten years...These tales explore the range of emotional states the author is famous for: longing, disaffection, ambivalence, love, regret. It’s nice to hear her voice again” (People).
“A peerless, contemplative page-turner” (Vanity Fair), The State We’re In is about how we live in the places we have chosen—or been chosen by. It’s about the stories we tell our families, our friends, and ourselves, the truths we may or may not see, how our affinities unite or repel us, and where we look for love.
Many of these stories are set in Maine, but The State We’re In is about more than geographical location. Some characters have arrived in Maine by accident, others are trying to escape. The collection is woven around Jocelyn, a wry, disaffected teenager living with her aunt and uncle while attending summer school. As in life, the narratives of other characters interrupt Jocelyn’s, sometimes challenging, sometimes embellishing her view.
“Ann Beattie slips into a short story as flawlessly as Audrey Hepburn wore a Givenchy gown: an iconic presentation, each line and fold falling into place but allowing room for surprise” (O, The Oprah Magazine). “Splendid...memorable...every page…fitted out with the blessed finery of hypnotic storytelling” (The Washington Post), these stories describe a state of mind, a manner of being. The State We’reIn explores, through women’s voices, the unexpected moments and glancing epiphanies of daily life.
Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections, in John Updike’s The Best American Short Stories of the Century, and in Jennifer Egan’s The Best American Short Stories 2014. In 2000, she received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story. In 2005, she received the Rea Award for the Short Story. She was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, Lincoln Perry, live in Maine and Key West, Florida.