By Jeff Giles
Updated April 26, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Ann Beattie copyrights her books under the name ”Irony and Pity, Inc.,” and although she has long trafficked in both, she can, as in these stories, still wring a lovely image or two out of most anything. ”There was a huge wind out there, like an animal loose in the trees,” she writes at one point. And, at another: ”[A] stronger wind blew up. This was the sort of wind that preceded an alien landing.” What Was Mine is a quiet, even collection. Nothing sings, but everything hums. B+

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