Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Friday, January 13, 2012

Anne Beattie Two New Yorker Stories Plus a Small Tip on Reading Free Short Stories on your E-Device

"A Platonic Relationship"  (1974, 20 pages)
"Wolf Dreams" (7 pages,1974)

Maybe everyone into the Kindle/Ipad reading experience already knows this but I recently found that if you download a sample of a Kindle edition collection of short stories you will get for free from one to three complete short stories of a work under copyright.  This is great for those of us who live where there are no public libraries in that it allows us try out an author whose work might not be other wise accessible on the web.    


Yesterday I downloaded a sample of The New Yorker Stories (2010) by Anne Beattie (1947, USA) and was very happy to see the sample included three of her stories.   In the collection of her stories, all of which were originally published in  The New Yorker over a 22 year period, the works are arranged by order published so the sample is of three early stories.  


The two short stories I read are both written in a very nice kind of "easy reading" prose style that one would enjoy reading while looking at the ads for expensive consumer goods like Mount Blanc pens, Hermes Hand Bags and $20,000 watches.   


Both of the stories are about women whose lives center around men with whom they have perhaps comfortable but still uneasy relationships.   


"A Platonic Relationship" is about a woman who divorces her attorney husband but remands friends with him.   She gets her own place to live and she ends up renting a room to a male college student 10 years younger than her.  She is in her early thirties.     There never is any romance or sex between them and no clear suggestion the woman even wanted that.   She begins to develop an odd nurturing relationship with the man.   I found this story to be  well written but I was not engaged by the plot line or characters very much.  I am glad I took the time to read it.




"Wolf Dreams"  is another story about a woman who gets her identity from the series of men she has married and divorced.   We have to put together a lot of her life for ourselves, one of the characteristics of the short story so that is fine.  I found this to also be an OK story.    


I am glad I had the option to read these stories for free and I know I cannot access her as a writer based only on some of her very first stories.   I would like to read her older works but, I admit, probably not enough to buy them when there are huge amounts of stories I can read for free.


Please share your experience with Beattie with us.




Mel u

5 comments:

WordsBeyondBorders said...

'Ann Beattie' is one of my favorite short story writers. My personal favorite of her short stories is 'The Rabbit hole as a likely explanation'. If you have not read that you can check it out at

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/04/12/040412fi_fiction?currentPage=all

Parrish Lantern said...

The Sample before you buy is a great feature of Kindle & I use it regulary to decide if I want something from Amazon, also did you know that if you find or have a doc/pdf of stories/poems of even 1 of your own you can send it to amazon to convert it to kindle format.

Debbie Rodgers said...

I've had my Kindle only a few months and I didn't know about the Sample Before You Read feature - thanks for pointing it out. And how it works with short story collections is a bonus!

mel u said...

WordsBeyondBorders-thanks very much for this link-I want to read more of her work

Parrish Lantern-yes the Kindle sample feature is a very good option

Debbie Rogers-I hope you find the tip as useful as I did when I found it-thanks so much for your comment and visit

mel u said...

WordsBeyondBorders-thanks very much for this link-I want to read more of her work

Parrish Lantern-yes the Kindle sample feature is a very good option

Debbie Rogers-I hope you find the tip as useful as I did when I found it-thanks so much for your comment and visit