Short story writer and novelist Ann Beattie is born on this day in Washington, D.C.
After finishing college at American University in 1969 and graduate school at the University of Connecticut, Beattie quickly established herself as an important short story writer. Her first stories appeared in the early 1970s in the New Yorker. Her first collection of short stories, Distortions, and her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, were both published in 1976. Her stories and novels explored characters whose values, formed in the 1960s, were at odds with the lives they led in the 1970s and 1980s. Her minimalist style was widely imitated.
Beattie married Newsweek writer and singer David Gates and had a son. The couple later divorced. She also taught at University of Virginia in Charlottesville, then at Harvard. In 1985, she married painter Lincoln Percy and settled in Charlottesville. Her other novels include Falling in Place (1980), Picturing Will (1989), My Life, Starring Dara Falcon (1997) and The Doctor’s House (2002).
Story collections include The Burning House (1982), Where You’ll Find Me (1986), Park City (1999), Perfect Recall (2000) and Follies: New Stories (2005).