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What was mine
Beattie, Ann.
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New York : Random House, 1991.
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A collection of short fiction, twelve works in all, including two never-before-published novellas. Here are disconnected marriages and uneasy reunions, nostalgic reminiscences and sudden epiphanies--a remarkable and moving collage of contemporary lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Notes

Ann Beattie was born in Washington, D.C. on September 8, 1947. She received a B.A. from American University in 1969 and an M.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1970. She began her writing career when she was just twenty-five, with the short story A Platonic Relationship, published in The New Yorker. Regular contributions to the magazine resulted in her first collection of short stories, Distortions, published in 1976. Her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, was also published that year. Later works include Park City, Another You, Where You'll Find Me, and Walks with Men. Her work was honored with a Guggenheim fellowship in 1978, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1980, and the Rea Award for the Short Story in 2005. She has taught at Harvard College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Virginia.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Beattie's fifth collection of stories (after the novel Picturing Will ) is good news for those readers who, though admiring of her skill at creating characters, are left cold by her unwavering, affectless narration. Collectively, the protagonists in these 12 stories represent a wide range of voices, ages, social classes. Although emotions are openly acknowledged, characters still reveal things of which they are not consciously aware. In a few of these stories Beattie's intent remains elusive; subtlety is carried to an irksome extreme, and the random accretion of details impedes coherence. But at her best, Beattie succeeds in effectively conveying epiphanies. In the moving title story, a man whose father died when he was a baby suddenly understands the true meaning of loss. With the help of her son, the divorcee in ``Horatio's Trick'' achieves an insight that illumines her entire life to date: ``She was just sitting there, scared to death.'' The young husband and father in ``You Know What,'' who has feared for years that ``something bad will happen,'' comes to understand that a life spent in dread is a life wasted. The most impressive story, ``Windy Day at the Reservoir,'' has beautifully nuanced and detailed character portrayal, and a textured plot full of poignant surprises. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Most of these 12 stories are quick studies of the lives of middle-class Americans caught in the kind of self-examination that exposes the frailties and limitations of their perceptions. In the title story, a boy gains a new and disturbing sense of his dead father's identity through the contemplation of loss. ``Installation #6'' is about the difference between objective and subjective reality. In it an artist has his handyman brother tape record ``some thoughts you can listen to'' to be played in the gallery where his construction is on display. The monolog thus becomes both a part of and a commentary on the artist's work. Next, against a sensuous Mediterranean backdrop, a woman vacationing with her husband faces the shortcomings of their relationship in ``In Amalfi.'' This well-crafted and readable collection should appeal to fans of Beattie's other work.-- Francis Poole, Univ. of Dela ware, Newark (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.