Mason, Bobbie Ann,
1940–, American regional author, b. Mayfield, Ky., grad. Univ. of Kentucky (B.A., 1962), State Univ. of New York, Binghamton (M.A., 1966), Univ. of Connecticut (Ph.D., 1972). Her dissertation, a study of nature imagery in Nabokov Ada,
was published as Nabokov's Garden
(1974) and was followed by The Girl Sleuth
(1975), a feminist guide to Nancy Drew and her ilk. Mason taught (1972–79) at Pennsylvania's Mansfield College, leaving academia to become a full-time writer. She is best known for her acutely observed short stories of working-class life in the New South, which began to appear in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly,
and other magazines in the early 1980s. The pop-culture milieu of strip malls, tract houses, fast-food joints, and trash television characterizes her highly acclaimed first volume of stories, Shiloh and Other Stories
(1982), and reappears with other facets of contemporary Southern life in later collections— Love Life
(1989), Midnight Magic
(1998), and Zigzagging down a Wild Trail
(2001). Mason has also written novels, e.g., In Country
(1982), Feather Crowns
(1993), and An Atomic Romance
See her Clear Springs: A Memoir (1999); A. Wilhelm, Bobbie Ann Mason: A Study of the Short Fiction (1998); J. Price, Understanding Bobbie Ann Mason (1998).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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