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Bobbie Ann Mason Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In Country (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Spence and Lila (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Feather Crowns (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Atomic Romance (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Girl in the Blue Beret (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dear Ann (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Balancing Act (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bridges (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Whirling Circle (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Shiloh and Other Stories (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Love Life (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Midnight Magic (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nancy Culpepper (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Patchwork (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Nabokov's Garden (1974)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Girl Sleuth (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Clear Springs (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Elvis Presley: A Life (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Bobbie Ann Mason
Bobbie Ann Mason was born May 1, 1940 and is an American essayist, literary critic, novelist, and short story writer from Kentucky. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm right outside of Mayfield, Kentucky with four siblings.

Bobbie enjoyed reading with encouragement from her parents, but her choices were limited. She mainly had popular fiction about the Bobbsey Twins and all the Nancy Drew mysteries. She’d later write a book about these books she read during her adolescence called “The Girl Sleuth: A feminist guide to the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Their Sisters”. She credits her time in a grade school in Cuba, Kentucky with influencing some of her adult characters.

Bobbie became interested in writing when she was a kid, while writing imitations of the mystery series books that she read. She was especially inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”, however it wasn’t until she got into college that she found other writers, like the fiction of Salinger, Hemingway, and Salinger.

After finishing high school, Bobbie majored in English at the University of Kentucky. After she graduated in the year 1962, she worked for a fan magazine publisher in New York City, writing articles on various stars that were in the spotlight for movie magazines that she calls “fluff”.

She got her master’s degree at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1966. Following that, she went to grad school at the University of Connecticut, where she got her PhD in literature with a dissertation on Vladimir Nabokov’s “Ada” in the year 1972. This dissertation was published as “Nabokov’s Garden” two years later. Because teaching jobs were scarce in the seventies, she was able to focus on her writing fiction as she taught journalism part time.

Bobbie began writing short stories when she was in her late thirties. In the year 1980, The New Yorker published her first story. She feels it took her a very long time to find her material, and that it wasn’t a matter of just developing her writing abilities, but a matter of knowing how to see things.

She had been writing for a long time, but wasn’t able to see what there was to actually write about. Bobbie always aspired to things away from her home, so it took her a long time to go and look back at home and realize that was where the center of her thought truly was.

Bobbie has written about the working-class people of Western Kentucky, and her short stories have contributed to a Renaissance of regional fiction in America creating a literary style which critics have labeled as “shopping mall realism”.

Bobbie’s short stories have appeared in various magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and Mother Jones.

She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. “Shiloh and Other Stories” won the 1983 Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for outstanding first works of fiction. Bobbie’s 1999 memoir was also a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

In 1989, her first novel “In Country”, was adapted into a movie that starred Emily Lloyd as the protagonist and Bruce Willis as her uncle.

“In Country” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 1985. A deeply affecting story about a young girl that comes to terms with her dad’s death in Vietnam from two decades prior.

During the summer of 1984, the war in Vietnam came back home to Sam Hughes, whose dad was killed there before she was even born. The soldier-boy in the photo never changed in any way. In a way that made him more dependable. But he seemed so very innocent. She blurts to the picture about how astronauts have gone to the moon, and how he missed Watergate, which happened when she was in the second grade.

She looked at the photo, squinting her eyes, like she expected it to come to life suddenly. However Dwayne died with all of his secrets. Emmett was still walking around with his. It seemed like anybody that survived Vietnam regarded it like something embarrassing and personal. Grandad told her that they were still embarrassed that they were still living. She told the man in her picture that he probably wasn’t embarrassed.

“Dear Ann” is a stand alone novel that was released in the year 2020. A woman reflecting over her first love and her life.

Ann Workman is naive yet smart, a misfit that has traveled from rural Kentucky to grad school in the transformative years of the late sixties. As she fervently seeks higher learning, she wants what all girls yearn for: a boyfriend. Not just any boy, however, she wants the “Real Thing”, to be in love with a guy that loves her equally.

Then Jimmy shows up, as if by some kind of magic. Even though he comes from some other place, upper-middle class suburban Chicago, he is still a misfit like her that rejects his upbringing and questions everything. Jimmy and Ann bond through literature and music and their own quirkiness, diving headfirst into what appears to be the perfect relationship. However with the Vietnam War looming and the country being in turmoil, their future isn’t certain.

Many years later, she recalls this time of innocence, as well as her own obsession with Jimmy, while she faces another crisis in her life. Looking to escape her problems, she attempts to imagine where she could be if she had decided differently all those years back. What if she had gone to Stanford University, like her mentor was urging her to, instead of that tiny school on the East Coast? Would she still have gotten caught up in the Summer of Love and its following dark turns? Or would her own good sense have saved her from disaster?

This is the wrenching tale of a woman’s life and the decisions she has made, and is expertly told and beautifully written. Mason captures the excitement of youth and the nostalgia of age, and how the consideration of the road that’s not taken: the interplay of imagination and memory can illuminate, and possibly overtake, our present.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Bobbie Ann Mason

2 Responses to “Bobbie Ann Mason”

  1. Marilyn M Blum: 7 months ago

    I live in La Quinta, CA 92253 and my sister, Ann Mahan Nemo, went to Mayfield High School with Bobbie Ann. I would like to surprise my sister on her birthday June 6, with a copy of Bobbi Ann’s new book, Dear Ann. Please tell me how or where I might buy a copy to surprise her. Thanks, Marilyn Mahan Blum

    Reply
    • Graeme: 7 months ago

      It’s available in most book stores and online at places like Amazon etc.

      Reply

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