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Nancy Culpepper: Stories

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  99 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Kentucky native Nancy Culpepper boldly left home to attend school in Massachusetts, married a Yankee, and raised her son in the Northeast. “One day I was feeding chickens and listening to Hank Williams and the next day I was expected to know what wines went with what,” she tells her husband, Jack. Yet no matter where she travels, her rural southern heritage is never far fr ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Random House (first published 2006)
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Feb 17, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
A lovely collection of stories that together make a novel and follow Kentucky-born Nancy Culpepper over the course of 15 years and many parts of the world. In all of them, Bobbie Ann Mason is concerned with the past, with how it has shaped her characters, and with how they deal with the future. The central character, Nancy, has inherited her taciturn nature from her parents (described in an achingly beautiful way in the longest story, Lila + Spence), and this collection returns again and again t ...more
I used to love, love, love Bobbie Ann Mason, back in the late 80s, early 90s. She writes about an area of the country, western Kentucky, specifically around Paducah, where I lived from age 5 - 10, in the early 70s. I hadn't picked up anything of hers in years and was afraid that my tastes would have changed significantly or that what appealed to me originally would be gone. I was pleasantly surprised with this book.

She deals with leaving a rural way of life for a more urban one, detachment from
Jun 16, 2014 Keri-Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I had to read "Nancy Culpepper" and "Lying Doggo" for a class. I liked both of them so much that I decided to buy the entire collection of short stories and read them for fun. Mason did not disappoint. I love her characters!
May 26, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
This novel about the title character was told in a series of short stories. It described her character and motivation well at first, but then the last two stories seemed to come out of nowhere. I guess the author Bobbie Ann Mason was trying to make art imitate life because that happens to a lot of us. Nevertheless, I found it unnerving and so I'm giving it three stars instead of 4. I had read an earlier book of hers "In Country" and thought that that book was written with more sensitivity and un ...more
Gina Whitlock
Jan 20, 2016 Gina Whitlock rated it really liked it
Great stories.
Suzanne Auckerman
Sep 10, 2011 Suzanne Auckerman rated it liked it
Bobbie Ann Mason is from Kentucky. There are many parallels in the life of Nancy Culpepper and my life. I find Mason's characters to be geniune. I think often sending a child to college, when the parents did not have that opportunity creates a gap that is hard to bridge in a satisfactory way to the parents and the children.
Robin Schoenthaler
Apr 23, 2013 Robin Schoenthaler rated it really liked it
Lovely linked stories. (Maybe not quite linked enough, but that's okay). Great characters. Loved every single section that took place in Kentucky. The hospital scenes with mom and daughters and husband are about as good as I've ever read. Last chapter/story felt like an add-on, but definitely a lovely read.
Sep 08, 2012 Tara rated it it was ok
I read Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country many years ago and loved it. I really liked the idea and structure behind this later work - following the life of one woman, and her ancestors, through selected episodes. But while it was well-written, and striking in parts, overall I just didn't find it that memorable.
Nov 30, 2012 Jeanne rated it liked it
I'm not normally a fan of the short story but I do admire Bobbie Ann Mason as a writer. This collection centers around one character, Nancy Culpepper. The story 'Spence & Lila' (about Nancy's parents) was by far the best.
Aug 27, 2009 Brooke rated it really liked it
Loved the Spence & Lila story more than the rest of the book. But, overall, it made me think of my family in Missouri and how different my life might be if my parents had stayed in that farming community.
May 10, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
Who doesn't love to read anything by Bobbie Ann Mason! I loved the format of this book which was more like a collection of interconnected short fiction. Tasty little bites that formed a whole cake.
Aug 21, 2007 Kathleen rated it it was ok
Nothing special about this book. I plowed through it but was disappointed and probably should have stopped 1/2 way through
Mar 01, 2012 Marianne rated it really liked it
Great book.....I loved the love story of Lila and Spence.
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Bobbie Ann Mason has won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her books include In Country and Feather Crowns. She lives in Kentucky.
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