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Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason download in pdf, ePub, iPad

The reader isn't quite sure as to how things end at Shiloh. This article does not cite any sources. The place is western Kentucky, sharply realized through concrete particulars of food, social custom, and speech.

Almost everyone whose writing I respect

This article about a collection of short stories is a stub. It never stops with this writer's work, her novels and stories. Her western Kentucky is not a museum of hillbilly life and quaint tradition, but a locale that might be found almost anywhere beyond the urban centers of America.

The story ends with Leroy and his wife Norma Jean visiting the battlefield of Shiloh, where Norma Jean tells Leroy that she is leaving him because she no longer loves him. They are unified by a strong sense of place, by a particular kind of character, by a firmly individual voice, and by themes and feelings that are universal. The collection won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation award for fiction. The collection brought Mason her first critical acclaim.

Almost everyone whose writing I respect has something similar to say about Bobbie Ann Mason's work. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Norma Jean then walks to the edge of the bluff and looks over, Leroy pursues her, and the story ends. Paradoxically, the specific details also make the setting familiar to many readers, because Mason uses them to supply context rather than local color.

The sixteen pieces assembled in her first collection of short fiction are even more impressive when read as a group. It has Kmarts and bowling leagues, Tupperware and matched sets of furniture, and flea markets on third Mondays.

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