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Ann Beattie quotes Showing 1-20 of 20

“Clichés so often befall vain people.”
Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
“It's not about having things figured out, or about communicating with other people, trying to make them understand what you understand. It's about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow. Things that don't need explaining.”
Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
“Clouds are poems, and the most moving poems linger on the blackboard so long, written in cursive so lovely, they also exist inside our fingertips. We never really erase them at the end of the lesson.”
Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
“Italics provide a wonderful advantage: you see, right away, that the words are in a rush. When something exists at a slant, you can't help but consider irony.”
Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
“Nothing is so lovely as a quietly snoring dog and some evening Brahms, as you sit in a comfortably overstuffed chair with your feet on the footstool.”
Ann Beattie
“This is a story, told the way you say stories should be told: Somebody grew up, fell in love, and spent a winter with her lover in the country. This, of course, is the barest outline, and futile to discuss. It’s as pointless as throwing birdseed on the ground while snow still falls fast. Who expects small things to survive when even the largest get lost? People forget years and remember moments. Seconds and symbols are left to sum things up: the black shroud over the pool. Love, in its shortest form becomes a word.”
Ann Beattie, Where You'll Find Me and Other Stories
tags: love
“Jane remembers those years, though, as if they had been [a movie]--in part because her friends...always talked about everything as if it was over ("Remember last night?"), while holding out the possibility that whatever happened could be rerun. Neil didn't have that sense of things. He thought people shouldn't romanticize ordinary life. "Our struggles, our little struggles," he would whisper, in bed, at night. Sometimes he or she would click on some of the flashlights and consider the ceiling, with the radiant swirls around the bright nuclei, the shadows like opened oysters glistening in brine. (In the '80s, the champagne was always waiting.)”
Ann Beattie, Walks with Men
“Are you happy?"

"I think I may be going to be happy."

Remember, things do not force, forge or fashion. They fall into place”
Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter
“People who were dying: their minds always raced past whatever was being said, and still the pain went faster, leapfrogging ahead.”
Ann Beattie
“The admiration of another writer’s work is almost in inverse proportion to similarities in style.”
Ann Beattie
“Hydrox cookies (what happened to them? They used to be so good. Sugar. No doubt they're leaving out sugar)”
Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter
“Might as well wear loafers without socks. Or take out a membership at the Reading Room on the path above the beach—the Reading Room, where the joke was that there wasn’t a book in the entire place.”
Ann Beattie, The State We're In: Maine Stories
“This is a story, told the way you say stories should be told: Somebody grew up, fell in love, and spent a winter with her lover in the country. This, of course, is the barest outline, and futile to discuss. It’s as pointless as throwing birdseed on the ground while snow still falls fast. Who expects small things to survive when even the largest get lost? People forget years and remember moments. Seconds and symbols are left to sum things up: the black shroud over the pool. Love, in its shortest form, becomes a word. What I remember about all that time is one winter. The snow. Even now, saying “snow,” my lips move so that they kiss air. No mention has been made of the snowplow that seemed always to be there, scraping snow off our narrow road — an artery cleared, though neither of us could have said where the heart was.”
Ann Beattie, Where You'll Find Me and Other Stories
“I wasn’t the sort of person who struck up conversations with strangers.”
Ann Beattie, The State We're In: Maine Stories
“When we came in she had her chair sideways, without even looking up to know that it was us, that the doctors had said that sitting and staring at the snow was a waste of time; she should get involved in something. She laughed and told us it wasn't a waste of time. It would be a waste of time just to stare at snowflakes, but she was counting, and even that might be a waste of time, but she was only counting the ones that were just alike”
Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter
“Adirondacks must sit in those uncomfortable wooden chairs with the seats tilted so deeply backward that your knees sprang up like a ventriloquist’s dummy as the wood pressed into the back of your thighs. Otherwise, why would they be so named?”
Ann Beattie, The State We're In: Maine Stories
“Startled starlings flew up out of the high grass, their black whorl a little tornado that did not touch down and therefore did no damage. They disappeared like a momentary perception above Yancey’s head, fanning out and flying west. Or like the clotted words crammed into a cartoon bubble.”
Ann Beattie, The State We're In: Maine Stories
“The rum and Coke tastes just awful. He wishes he had Susan’s plain Coke.”
Ann Beattie, Chilly Scenes of Winter
“Then the auctioneer introduced himself [,,,,]. He started to speak into the microphone, a maddening, jammed-up sequence of words that crashed like bumper cars, after which everything sorted itself into some kind of sense again, and after the fact you could understand most of what he'd said.”
Ann Beattie, The State We're In: Maine Stories
“I guess that I have been thinking about how graceful you were, and although it is none of my business, I wondered whether you might not be paying a price for being that way. . . . People want to have an easy fix on other people, and since you are Cindi Coeur, it's easy to assume that someone who satirizes our shortcomings has set herself above us.”
Ann Beattie, Love Always


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Chilly Scenes of Winter Chilly Scenes of Winter
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Walks with Men Walks with Men
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The New Yorker Stories The New Yorker Stories
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The State We're In: Maine Stories The State We're In
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