The Accomplished Guest: Stories by Ann Beattie
eBook review copy; 288 pages
The Accomplished Guest: Stories by Ann Beattie is a highly
recommended collection of thirteen previously published short stories.
This collection explores aging, mortality, fragile bonds between people,
fate, friendships, and family. In several of the stories people are
meeting for a social event or going out to dinner. Most of the people
are older, in their sixties and up, have been married multiple times and
seem discontented, perplexed, and very removed from any true connection
with other people, even while they are meeting with them. Beattie
gives us glimpses into these lives with her immutable excellent prose
and clear, astute voice. Not every story was a complete winner for me,
but, nonetheless, this is an excellent collection.
The Indian Uprising: A former student visits her professor.
For the Best: A man heads to a holiday party where he expects to see his ex-wife.
The Astonishing Woodchopper: A couple is going to a wedding where tensions rise.
Anecdotes: An older self-centered mother overshares and hurts feelings.
Other People's Birthdays: A woman returns home to celebrate her sister's birthday.
Company: A professor has former students over for dinner.
The Debt: Middle aged frat brothers get together in Key West.
Lady Neptune: A wheelchair-bound woman attends a holiday party in Key West.
The Caterer: A caterer recruits help for a job and encounters problems.
The Gypsy chooses the Whatever Card: Women visiting in a coffee shop are interrupted by a robber.
The Cloud: A woman goes out to dinner with her uncle.
Hoodie in Xanadu: A woman forms a partnership with her neighbor who has transformed his living room into Xanadu.
Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl: An older man feels at odds and out of place in the world.
My review copy was courtesy of Scribner.