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ANN BEATTIE QUOTES

American author (1947- )

Clouds are poems, and the most moving poems linger on the blackboard so long, written in cursive so lovely, they also exist inside our fingertips. We never really erase them at the end of the lesson.

ANN BEATTIE, Walks With Men

I’m always amazed by my friends who were reading Samuel Beckett back when I was reading Wonder Woman. I didn’t think about books much in those days. I took a creative-writing course in high school, but only because it allowed me to skip gym.

ANN BEATTIE, The Paris Review, spring 2011

My friends and I make great fun of the fact that I was labeled the so-called spokesperson for the generation. I don't think many writers write from that perspective. I'm sure John Updike doesn't sit around thinking, Boy, have I got the number on suburbia. He'd be horrified if he thought that was all he was up to.

ANN BEATTIE, Conversations with Ann Beattie

It took me years and years to realize a very simple thing, which is that when you write fiction you’re raising questions, and a lot of people think you’re playing a little game with them and that actually you know the answers to the questions. They read your question. They don’t know how to answer correctly. And they think that if they could only meet you personally and look into your eyes, you could give them the answers.

ANN BEATTIE, The Paris Review, spring 2011

I don't write about things that I have the answers to or things that are very close to home. It just wouldn't be any adventure. It wouldn't have any vitality.

ANN BEATTIE, Conversations with Ann Beattie

It's not about having things figured out, or about communicating with other people, trying to make them understand what you understand. It's about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow. Things that don't need explaining.

ANN BEATTIE, Walks With Men

Minimalism is a term that all of us who share so little in common and who are lumped together as minimalists are not terribly happy with.

ANN BEATTIE, Conversations with Ann Beattie

I link all evils to the computer.

ANN BEATTIE, The Paris Review, spring 2011

I became disenchanted with New York when I realized that I felt as if I had accomplished something when I picked up the laundry and got the Times and a quart of milk. I spent a lot of time worrying about alternate-side parking. I lived on the fourth floor of a brownstone. If I had messed up and hadn’t jockeyed my car to the right side of the street for the next day and somebody moved their car at four o’clock in the morning, it was an automatic response, in winter or summer, maybe I put my slippers on, but I would run down in my pajamas and get that place. All of a sudden I thought, This is absolutely ridiculous.

ANN BEATTIE, The Paris Review, spring 2011

There is some reason, obviously, that you are drawn to your material, but the way in which you explore it might come to be quite different from what you would expect. In other words, if you were meeting all these people at a party you might have one frame of reference about them but once they were in a work of literature you might find, much to your surprise, that you had quite another perspective.

ANN BEATTIE, Conversations with Ann Beattie

Clichés so often befall vain people.

ANN BEATTIE, Walks With Men


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