2005 Winner
Ann Beattie

2005 Rea Award Winner Ann Beattie
Photo: Sigrid Estrada

Sherman Alexie
Ron Carlson
Tess Gallagher

Press Release

New York, N.Y. – The annual $30,000 Rea Award for the Short Story is awarded to ANN BEATTIE.

Michael M. Rea, a passionate reader and collector of short stories, founded The Rea Award for the Short Story in 1986 to be given annually to a living American writer whose work has made a “significant contribution to the discipline of the short story as an art form.” The Rea Award is unique in that it is not given for a specific collection of stories or for a body of work, but rather for artistic achievement, originality and influence on the genre. Mr. Rea, who traced his love of the short story back to his Irish roots noted, “The basic thrust of the award is to foster a literary cause, to ennoble the form, to give it prestige.”

Sponsored by the Dungannon Foundation, The Rea Award continues under the direction of Rea’s widow, Elizabeth Richebourg Rea. This year’s jurors are writers, Sherman Alexie, Ron Carlson and Tess Gallagher. The jurors are selected based on their knowledge, background, and interest in the genre of the short story. This year’s jurors have written the following citation:

“Ann Beattie is a writer for and of her time. For more than thirty years she has written stories that form a chronicle of American life. Her prose has become known for its vivid particularity, the details of the way we live. But her stories have insisted on their place in American letters because of her ability to imply the way the human heart confronts the confusion of attachment and loss. She approaches the intricacies of contemporary life, layered and frazzled as it is, in such a way that we accompany characters who sometimes find their lives softly caving in or imploding. There is a complexity in her best work that reveals new gradations of the oldest emotions. Rarely neat, her narratives explore the way men and women struggle with new emotional territory, the gray areas of love and vulnerability. In her prolific investigation of character there is an intelligence and compassion that is ultimately affirming, not because it is hopeful toward any upturn, but because we respect the utter intensity of its seeking to find out what makes us ache and care for the people in the lives next to ours.”

Ann Beattie has received critical acclaim for her depiction of the generation of Americans who grew up in the 1960’s. She has published eight collections of short stories, including Park City, What Was Mine, Where You’ll Find Me, The Burning House and the recently published Follies: New Stories. The Washington Post has called her “one of the era’s most vital masters of the short form.” She is also the author of seven novels, including The Doctor’s House, Another You and Picturing Will.

Ann Beattie’s many honors include the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her stories have been included in three O’Henry Collections and John Updike’s Best American Short Stories of the Century. Her forthcoming Lincoln Perry’s Charlottesville, is a collaboration with her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry.

Ann Beattie is currently the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Virginia.

In addition to The Rea Award for the Short Story, the Dungannon Foundation sponsors Writer’s and Lecturer’s programs at universities across the country and also helps fund the Selected Shorts program at Symphony Space in New York City.