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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.
“Reads like a fresh bulletin from the front: We snatch it up, eager to know what’s happening out there on the edge of that shifting and dubious no man's land known as interpersonal relationships.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Burning brilliance.... This collection of short stories is the work of a writer with a dazzling gift.... Beattie’s eye is clear, her ear finely tuned, her mind brilliantly odd.... A joy to read.”—Chicago Sun-Times