More To Say: Essays and Appreciations

Nonpareil. Feb. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781567927528. pap. $17.95. LIT
In this first collection of her nonfiction, novelist and master short story writer Beattie (A Wonderful Stroke of Luck) offers appreciations of 13 writers and 15 visual artists. Published between 1982 and 2022, these selections appeared in periodicals as well as introductions and forewords to books. The subjects, Beattie notes, are people she admires and from whom she has learned a lot. Among those covered in the first part of the book, “On Writers,” are Peter Taylor, whom she terms “a dream of a writer”; Alice Munro, who makes the ordinary magical; Elmore Leonard, in whose books actions have moral consequences; and John Updike, with his amazing gift for language and love of words. The second section, “On Photographers and Other Artists,” begins with an essay on Beattie’s husband, painter Lincoln Perry. Other visual artists she discusses are photographer Sally Mann, porcelain creator Scott McDowell, sculptor Richard Rew, and Grant Wood, painter of Middle America. The final selection highlights Bob Adelman’s photos of author Raymond Carver, thereby tying together the book’s two halves.
VERDICT Readers of Beattie’s fiction will welcome this opportunity to experience her insights on the works of other creative individuals.
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