Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ann Beattie, Asking Questions Without Answers

Ann Beattie, major novelist who reads to you tomorrow in Saratoga, tells the Paris Review in a 2011 interview:  "It took me years and years to realize a very simple thing, which is that when you write fiction you’re raising questions, and a lot of people think you’re playing a little game with them and that actually you know the answers to the questions. They read your question. They don’t know how to answer correctly. And they think that if they could only meet you personally and look into your eyes, you could give them the answers."

"At readings I’m quite often speechless, actually. I am really very happy that I am striking a nerve. But it’s when they take it a step further and think that I have the salve for the nerve I’ve hit, or that I have personally lived through that myself, and that therefore we have a common bond, ­because they have also lived through that—then I begin to realize that what is ­between me and other people isn’t kinship, but a kind of a gulf."

The New York State Summer Writers Institute presents Ann Beattie tomorrow, Wednesday, July 3rd.

All readings are at 8:00 p.m. in Davis Audiorium, Palamountain Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Full interview:  http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6070/the-art-of-fiction-no-209-ann-beattie

Full schedule of readings:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/sumread.html