When Ann Beattie met John Updike, he said “You figured out how to write an entirely different kind of story.” Her stories were “the” stories my English department discussed in the 1980s because they were so revolutionary. T. Coraghessan Boyle wrote in the New York Times, “Her stories are propelled not so much by event as by the accumulation of the details that build a life…” This is hard to do well. Almost everyone I knew during those years, including me, tried to write Beattiesque stories that had a beginning, a middle, and an epiphany that substituted for an ending.
Ann Beattie. The New Yorker Stories (New York: Scribner, 2010), 305.