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Author Ann Beattie On 'The State We're In: Maine Stories'12:15
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A jetty in Saco, Maine. Many of Ann Beattie's stories center around this state's beaches in the summer. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A jetty in Saco, Maine. Many of Ann Beattie's stories center around this state's beaches in the summer. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
This article is more than 5 years old.

We take a trip Down East, to a state where neighbors hunker in with each other for the long winters and young teens are sent off to spend the summer with neurotic aunts. Maine, of course.

Ann Beattie captures the state of Maine in her new collection of short stories, "The State We're In: Maine Stories." Beattie describes a state where moments of peace — perhaps a beautiful ocean-side wedding — can suddenly erupt into odd terror as the groom is swept away with the tent in a heavy shore breeze. "But that --" writes Beattie, "real life — you couldn't write."

Beattie has been publishing short stories since the '70s, many in The New Yorker. She is recipient of writing awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She has published eight novels and nine collections of short stories.

"The State We're In" is her latest collection, the first in a decade.

Guest

Ann Beattie, American short story writer and novelist.

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The New York Times: Ann Beattie's 'The State We're In'

  • "Ann Beattie’s first collection of new short stories in a decade is mostly set in the state I’m in. This means I read “The State We’re In: Maine Stories” with the kind of suspicious diligence one uses in scouring a dog for ticks: looking for regional missteps, out-of-tune phrasings, any sign she had committed the special literary felony of getting Maine wrong."

The Washington Post: Does E.B. White's Simple, Peaceful Maine Still Exist?

  • "I wasn’t after the lobster-Freeport-outlet-shopping side of Maine. I was looking for the coastal life that White had written about with such love, affection and, at times, loss in books such as “One Man’s Meat” and essays such as 'Death of a Pig.'"

This segment aired on September 15, 2015.

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