Ploughshares Fall 1995 Guest-Edited by Ann Beattie

Ploughshares Fall 1995 Guest-Edited by Ann Beattie

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The Fall 1995 issue of Ploughshares, guest edited by Ann Beattie. Ploughshares, a journal of new writing, is guest edited serially by prominent writers who explore different and personal visions, aesthetics, and literary circles.

This issue of Ploughshares, edited by award-winning author Ann Beattie (The New Yorker Stories), brings together a varied collection of fiction, and is subtitled "Living Rooms." In Beattie's introduction, she states: "I am drawn to stories that are at once on the page and off it, escaping boundaries just as a good photograph does. I look for a double accomplishment, both a bow to the so-called real world (I am tedious with writing students, begging them to include a telephone ringing at an inopportune moment, or a bird flying by the window), as well as a defamiliarization of that world, all achieved by including the detail or details that reverberate, on which the writer has focused his or her lens, in close-up. In short, I expect the world of stories, and I expect them, in some way, to acknowledge the world." Featuring work from Frederick Barthelme, Laura Furman, Tess Gallagher, William Henry Lewis, Steven Rinehart, and Jessica Treadway.

Ann Beattie

"The Dissolution of the World" by Caroline A. Langston
"The Big Room" by Frederick Barthelme
"The Order of the Arrow" by Steven Rinehart
"Braid" by Tom Jenks
"Eggs" by Devon Jersild
"A True History of Notorious Mr. Edward Hyde" by Tony Eprile
"The Three-Legged Man" by Marc Vassallo
"Fugitives" by James Lilliefors
"Buffalo Safety" by David Wiegand
"The Apprentice" by Laura Furman
"Shades" by William Henry Lewis
"Aftermath" by Paul Brodeur
"Some Other Angel" by Ray Isle
"The Excitement Begins" by Leslee Becker
"Creatures" by Tess Gallagher
"Dear Nicole" by Jessica Treadway

Don Lee

Cohen Award winners: Mary Ruefle, Marshall N. Klimasewiski, and Charles Baxter

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940016565569
Publisher: Ploughshares
Publication date: 08/15/1995
Series: Ploughshares , #2123
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 254
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

After publishing several stories in The New Yorker, Ann Beattie burst on the literary scene in 1976 with not one, but two books -- a collection of short fiction entitled Distortions and a critically acclaimed debut novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter. Almost immediately, she was proclaimed the unofficial diarist of an entire generation, evoking the lives of feckless, young, middle-class baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s yet never really grew up, choosing instead to lug around their dashed expectations like so much excess baggage.

Indeed, Beattie's fiction is filled with such unhappy characters -- intelligent, well-educated people whose lives are steeped in disappointment and a vague sense of despair. Failed relationships, nostalgia for the past, and the inability to reconcile youthful idealism with the demands of adult life are recurring themes in short story collections like Secrets and Surprises (1978), What Was Mine (1991), and Park City (1998), as well as novels such as Falling in Place (1981), Love Always (1985), and Another You (1995).

Yet, Beattie vehemently denies that she set out to chronicle an era or to describe a particular demographic. ''I do not wish to be a spokesperson for my generation,'' she told The New York Times in 1985. She explained further (in the literary magazine Ploughshares) that she simply wrote about the people who surrounded her -- refugees from the '60s, bewildered by the real world and longing to return to the seductive counterculture of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

A writer of spare, elegant, whip-smart prose, Beattie has been classified as a minimalist, a label she rejects as reductive. In many ways, though, her writing fits the bill. Her stories, like those of minimalism's famous poster boy (and Beattie's good friend) Raymond Carver, are composed of simple, declarative sentences teeming with irony and finely observed detail; also like Carver, she is a nonjudgmental narrator, completely detached from her characters and their actions and meting out contextual clues to be interpreted by the reader. However, as she has matured as a writer, she has traded in strict minimalism for a more realistic style, endowing her characters with emotions (and something of an inner life!) and rendering her fiction more fully "human."


Maine and Key West, Florida

Date of Birth:

September 8, 1947

Place of Birth:

Washington, D.C.


B.A., American University, 1969; M.A., University of Connecticut, 1970

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