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More to Say

More to Say

Essays and Appreciations

by Ann Beattie

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Product Details

Nonpareil Books

ISBN: 978-1-56792-752-8
Pages: 304
Size: 5.25" x 7.5"
Published: January 2023
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"Personal, revelatory, and laser-precise. This is a book to savor." —Portland Press Herald

As deeply rewarding as her fiction, a selection of Ann Beattie’s essays, chosen and introduced by the author. From appreciations of writers, photographers, and other artists, to notes on the craft of writing itself, this is a wide-ranging, and always penetrating collection of writing never before published in book form.

Ann Beattie, a master storyteller, has been delighting readers since the publication of her short stories in the 1970s and her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter. But as her literary acclaim grew and she was hailed “the voice of her generation,” Ms. Beattie was also moonlighting as a nonfiction writer. As she writes in her introduction to this collection, “Nonfiction always gave me a thrill, even if it provided only an illusion of freedom. Freedom and flexibility—for me, those are the conditions under which imagination sparks.”

These penetrating essays are stories unto themselves, closely observed appreciations of life and art. The reader travels with Ms. Beattie to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to learn about the legacy of the painter, Grant Wood, and his iconic painting American Gothic; to the famed University of Virginia campus with her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry; to Key West, Florida for New Years with writer and translator, Harry Mathews; to a roadside near Boston in a broken-down car with the wheelchair-bound writer Andre Dubus.

There are explorations of novels, short stories, paintings, and photographs by artists ranging from Alice Munro to Elmore Leonard, from Sally Mann to John Loengard. Whatever the subject, Ms. Beattie brings penetrating insight into literature and art that’s both familiar and unfamiliar—as she writes, “This, I think, is what artists want to do: find a way to lure the reader or viewer into an alternate realm, to overcome the audience’s resistance to being taken away from their own lives and interests and priorities.”

Ann Beattie’s nonfiction (originally published in Life, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The American Scholar, among others) is a new way to enjoy one of the great writers of her generation. Readers will find much to love in this journey with a curious and fascinating mind.


“Shimmering prose and critical acumen on display in an eclectic collection. Beattie is an accomplished essayist with an elegant, precise writing style.” Kirkus Reviews

“Earnest, amusing, and contemplative, More to Say suggests that though Beattie is known for her fiction, her nonfiction has just as much to offer.” Publishers Weekly

“Exhilarating and illuminating . . . Beattie is funny, inquisitive, ardently descriptive, brilliantly interpretative, drawn to paradox, and amusingly self-deprecating.” Booklist

“Readers of Beattie’s fiction will welcome this opportunity to experience her insights on the works of other creative individuals.” —Library Journal

"A lesson in writing, looking, listening, and thinking from someone prodigiously talented at all of the above." Portland Press Herald


“In prose as clean and clear as her fiction, Beattie’s nonfiction responds to writers and artists with real insightfulness and surprises—and humor. I ended up thinking: I needed this book. It is eye-opening and splendid. “ ELIZABETH STROUT, author of Lucy by the Sea

“Ann Beattie's essays on literature, photography, and art are a joy: reading them is like conversing with her brilliant mind—beautifully lucid, frank, nuanced, elegant and intimate.” CLAIRE MESSUD, author of The Burning Girl

“Exhilarating and enthralling, this is a collection of one brilliant essay after another. To hear Beattie’s nonfiction voice is a marvel: You come away feeling like you’ve had a passionate and indelible conversation about literature and art.” LILY KING, author of Euphoria

“These are dazzling essays, acute and subtle and very wise. Ann Beattie shows here that she is not only one of our finest fiction writers but a philosopher of the short story. I know of no one who has thought with such insider's brilliance about the form (see especially her breathtaking analyses of Peter Taylor, Alice Munro, and John Updike, as well as her own processes). Then she goes ahead and sensitively yet playfully explores the art of painters, photographers, and sculptors.” PHILLIP LOPATE, editor of The Glorious American Essay

“It comes as a surprise, but shouldn’t, that Ann Beattie is also a master of nonfiction. These pieces enchant precisely because we see a mind building its particular, spirited intelligence by attention to others. These pieces “are illuminated by her simultaneously nonjudgmental, shrewd insight and the luminosity of her prose.” That’s Beattie on Alice Munro’s fiction, but it captures the quality of mind she brings to bear in this winning record of a reading life and a history of looking deeply, attentively at visual art. Read these essays to learn how to write—and to see.” PATRICIA HAMPL, author of The Art of the Wasted Day

“These remarkable essays have the verve and wit of Ann Beattie’s short stories, but a fiction writer recedes behind the story and these pieces are more personal. We are right there with her, watching her lively mind at play. What an extraordinary privilege! Her intellect is formidable but informal—at ease, confident. Rather than being stricken mute by her talents, we share her joy as she confides in us what she loves. These pieces are brilliant.” BOBBIE ANN MASON, author of Dear Ann

Ann Beattie
Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections, in John Updike’s The Best American Short Stories of the Century, and in Jennifer Egan’s The Best American Short Stories 2014. In 2000, she received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story. In 2005, she received the Rea Award for the Short Story. She was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, Lincoln Perry, live in Maine and Key West, Florida.