The now-classic, utterly unique voice of Ann Beattie is so dry it throws off sparks, her eye endowed with the emotional equivalent of X-ray vision. Her characters are young men and women discovering what it means to be a grown-up in a country that promised them they'd stay young forever. And here, in shapely, penetrating stories, Beattie confirms why she is one of the most widely imitated -- yet surely inimitable -- literary stylists of her generation.
In The Burning House, Beattie's characters go from dealing drugs to taking care of a bereaved friend. They watch their marriages fail not with a bang but with a wisecrack. And afterward, they may find themselves trading confidences with their spouses' new lovers. The Burning House proves that Beattie has no peer when it comes to revealing the hidden shapes of our relationships, or the depths of tenderness, grief, and anger that lie beneath the surfaces of our daily lives.
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August 29, 1995
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