Ann Beattie | Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life with Thomas Mallon | Watergate

Recorded Mar 1, 2012
Direct Download: 20120301-annbeat.mp3

After publishing several stories in The New Yorker, Ann Beattie burst on the literary scene in 1976 with Chilly Scenes of Winter and promptly became the unofficial diarist of a generation, delivering "irony-laced reports from the front line of the baby boomers’ war with themselves" (Vanity Fair). With spare, whip-smart prose, Beattie portrayed the sorts of relationships—the results of divorce, sexual liberation, or youthful aimlessness—that were the norm for those who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. Her style has evolved, but Beattie’s wry voice and tart characterization remain instantly recognizable. Recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award, she has been included in four O. Henry Award Collections. Beattie's new novel Mrs. Nixon is a genre-stretching exploration of an elusive American icon.

Acclaimed historical novelist Thomas Mallon is "an old-fashioned pleasure. Although Mallon is one of those fin-de-siecle storytellers finding form and content in the past, the result is a wonderful new fiction" (Yale Review). In Watergate, he puts facts at the service of imaginative invention in conveying the drama of the Nixon presidency and the Watergate scandal via the colorful perspectives of investigators and perpetrators. Praised by Christopher Hitchens for his “splendid evocation of Washington," Mallon is the author of seven novels, including Dewey Defeats Truman and Fellow Travelers. The recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, as well as the National Book Critics Circle award for reviewing, Mallon has served as literary editor of Gentlemen's Quarterly and deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 Barbara Gohn Day Memorial Lecture

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