The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie, a great writer, has a new book out called The New Yorker Stories. I loved her early stories. Her first story in The New Yorker (1974) was “A Platonic Relationship“. I still remember this:

When he did have a beer he would take one bottle from the case and put it in the refrigerator and wait for it to get cold, and then drink it. . . . One night Sam asked her if she would like a beer. . . . He went to his room and took out a bottle and put it in the refrigerator. “It will be cold in a while,” he said quietly.

Last night I put a Diet Coke in the freezer. It will be cold in a while, I thought, remembering this passage.

Alas, I haven’t liked her work over the last 20 years as much, although I am looking forward to reading Walks With Men, her latest novel.