Snow by Ann Beattie (Vanity Fair, 1983)
Monday’s Flash Fiction, September 13, 2021
Short, cozy, and deep, this short story holds a bright candle to spending winter in a country house with your lover. The intensity between reality and imagination is Beattie’s signature style. This is written in second person narrative (not one of my favorites), but well done in imagery and metaphor.
“I know that stories don’t really have conclusions. It’s only an appropriate moment for stopping.”
This is not a surprising quote by Beattie. Her stories often dangle you at the end. In Snow, the dangling leaves the reader with a sense of drama and loss. But even that is open to interpretation. Reading this 5-paragraph story a couple of times is well worth it!
Ann Beattie is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She is the author of twenty-one books, including the collections What Was Mine, Follies, The State We’re In, and The Accomplished Guest, as well as the novels Chilly Scenes of Winter, Another You, Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life, and A Wonderful Stroke of Luck (Viking, 2019). Beattie was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She lives in Maine and Key West.
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