Books: Beattieland

PICTURING WILL

by Ann Beattie

Random House; 230 pages; $18.95

Ann Beattie first became celebrated 15 years ago as the young chronicler of what has been called the Woodstock generation, the Aquarius generation and even the Beattie generation. Vaguely disaffected and disconnected people drifted in and out of other people's cars and beds, looking for something but not sure what, then finding something else but not sure why. And all this was reported in a coolly detached and often witty style, which made bizarre events seem perfectly natural.

These unhappy people are now entering middle age, as is Beattie, 42, and...