statewereinmixDate & Time: June 15 at 6:30 PM
Location: Portland Public Library
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The Portland Public Library and Longfellow Books launch Spotlight Series with a book launch for Ann Beattie’s new book The Accomplished Guest, a magnificent new collection from the award-winning author that features recent O. Henry, Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Story selections.

The evening will include a reading and on-stage conversation between Beattie and MWPA executive director Joshua Bodwell, followed by a book signing.


Surprising and revealing, set along the East Coast from Maine to Key West, Ann Beattie’s astutely observed new collection explores unconventional friendships, frustrated loves, mortality, and aging.

One theme of The Accomplished Guest is people paying visits or receiving visitors, traveling to see old friends, the joys and tolls of hosting company (and of being hosted). The occasion might be a wedding, a birthday, a reunion, an annual Christmas party, or another opportunity to gather and attempt to bond with biological relatives or chosen families. In some stories, as in life, what begins as a benign social event becomes a situation played for high stakes.

The stories in The Accomplished Guest are marked by an undercurrent of loss and an unexpected element of violence, with Beattie’s signature mordant humor woven throughout. Some characters provide welcome diversions, others are uninvited interruptions, all are indelibly drawn by the endlessly amusing and accomplished Ann Beattie.

Beattie’s debut collection Distortions was published forty years ago, but her writing is as fresh, funny, and relevant as ever. She is “a national treasure, the author of short stories that will endure and continue to inspire” (Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review).


“She punctures her characters’ pretensions and jadedness with an economy and effortless dialogue that writers have been trying to emulate for three decades, though few, if any, have matched her seamless combination of biting wit and mordant humor, precise irony and consummate cool.” –The New York Times Book Review

“One of America’s finest authors—and arguably best living short-story writer.” –Heidi Julavits, Interview

“In a Beattie story, perspective is preeminent, and it’s never one you expect. The unwieldiness of human nature, the strangeness of time and circumstance, inevitably shine through.” – Megan O’Grady, Vogue