Sunday, December 8, 2013

"The Rock" by Ann Beattie

I found Ann Beattie's story at The Huffington Post, although it was originally published by Narrative. As a writer, Beattie fascinates me like no other because her plots are so complicated, yet thorough, even in her short pieces. Most short stories, I've read, don't delve so deeply into plot--it's almost as if her stories, plot-wise, aren't quite literary in the strict sense of the word. Although, they most definitely are for her fine prose; her strong imagery; her deep exploration of character (in this case, the narrator, especially); her poignant conclusions; and the reverberations of the reading.

It's as if Beattie manages a cross (a lucrative cross, I don't doubt) between literary fiction and popular fiction. Anyway, the upscale Key West world she brings to life in these few pages is intriguing, and the plot masterful, but what I especially loved was the surprising arrival of the small Key deer--it was at this point that the story really came to life for me. Animals, I think, always bring a short story to a new, deeper, better level. Don't you agree?

"The Rock" by Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie

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