Conversations with Authors - Bobbie Ann Mason (Virtual Event)

Sunday, October 4, 2020 - 4:00pm


Sunday, October 4th • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

Bobbie Ann Mason

in conversation with Jill McCorkle

Conversations with Authors is our free virtual event series! Join us throughout the week at 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET for a new chat with a different author.


A note from Bobbie Ann Mason:

Hi All,

Thank you to the wonderful folks at Book Passage for hosting the conversation between Jill McCorkle and me about my new novel, Dear Ann. And I’m so grateful to Elaine Petrocelli for her enthusiastic part in the evening. It is such a pleasure to think of all the viewers who have found this marvelous community bookstore. I’m heartened to see how Book Passage has made a go of it “pandemically” by hosting conversations with authors—talks that are still available on the website.  I certainly wish Jill and I could have been out there in California, meeting and chatting with readers, but this virtual connection to Book Passage was very gratifying.  Thanks to all readers!

Some favorite books I’ve read this year:


Revisiting classics:

Best wishes,
Bobbie Ann

Bobbie Ann Mason‘s new release, Dear Ann, is a beautifully crafted and profoundly moving novel which follows a woman as she looks back over her life and her first love.

Her first short stories were published in The New Yorker, during the 1980s renaissance of the short story, when writers such as Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, and Tobias Wolff came to prominence. Her first book of fiction, Shiloh & Other Stories, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was nominated for the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She received an Arts and Letters Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The title story, “Shiloh,” about a disabled trucker whose wife is not used to having him at home, has been widely anthologized in college textbooks. The couple’s trip to the Civil War battleground of Shiloh began for Mason a recurring preoccupation with the theme of war.

Her first novel, In Country, is taught widely in classes and was made into a Norman Jewison film starring Bruce Willis and Emily Lloyd. It is about a teenager whose father died in Vietnam before she was born, and who is now coming of age, desperate to know more about him. The Girl in the Blue Beret ventures into World War II and the ways it is remembered. Her memoir, Clear Springs, about an American farm family throughout the twentieth century, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her book of linked stories, Nancy Culpepper, is inspired by this family, and she says that while the circumstances are different, this is the work of fiction most closely identified with her own life and sensibility.


A note from Jill McCorkle:

Hi All,

It was such an honor to help launch and celebrate Bobbie Ann and Dear Ann. Thanks again and very best wishes—here’s hoping a month from now, the world will look a little brighter.

What a season! My bedside stack has been even higher than normal these recent weeks. Along with Bobbie Ann Mason’s Dear Ann, I have loved reading: The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey; If I Had Two Wings by Randall Kenan; Memorial Drive by Natasha Tretheway; Ron Rash’s latest collection, In the Valley; Lily King’s Writers & Lovers; and Daniel Mason’s A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth. These pandemic months have all run together and so I’m sure I will hit send and think of five more, or those I missed and am now catching up on, like Jane Hirshfield’s Ledger and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers's The Age of Phillis.  Reading always feels like a lifeline but now more than ever.  Big cheers of gratitude to our independent booksellers!

Jill McCorkle

Jill McCorkle’s first two novels were released simultaneously when she was just out of college, and the New York Times called her “a born novelist.” Since then, she has published seven novels (most recent, Hieroglyphics) and four collections of short stories. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories several times, as well as The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. Five of her books have been New York Times Notable books, and her novel, Life After Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She has received the New England Booksellers Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Garden and Gun, The Atlantic, and other publications. She was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard, where she also chaired the department of creative writing. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.


Below, please find links to purchase Bobbie Ann's and Jill's books as well as their recommended titles.



Dear Ann: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062986658
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 8th, 2020

A Kirkus Best Book of the Year

The Boy in the Field: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062946393
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - August 11th, 2020

A People Book of the Week | An O Magazine Best Book of the Fall| A USA Today Book Not to Miss| A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

Hieroglyphics Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616209728
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - July 28th, 2020

Hieroglyphics is a novel that tugs at the deepest places of the human soul—a beautiful, heart-piercing meditation on life and death and the marks we leave on this world.

They Came Like Swallows (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679772576
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - March 25th, 1997

     To eight-year old Bunny Morison, his mother is an angelic comforter in whose absence nothing is real or alive.  To his older brother, Robert, his mother is someone he must protect, especially since the deadly, influenza epidemic of 1918 is ravaging their small Midwestern town.  To James Morison, his wife, Elizabeth, is the center of a life that would disi

Dale Loves Sophie to Death Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316890663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - September 19th, 2001

Robb Forman Dew's cult first novel explores themes of familial and romantic bonds as it tells the story of a woman whose husband stays behind in New England while she and their children spend the summer in her Midwestern hometown.

Summerlings: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525565482
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - July 7th, 2020

It’s the summer of 1959 in the seemingly tranquil suburbs of Washington, D.C. But our young narrator, John, and his best friends, Ivan and Max, know the truth: every door on their street could be hiding an escaped Nazi or a spy with secrets about the A-bomb.

Deep Gossip: New and Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781421437873
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Johns Hopkins University Press - April 7th, 2020

Throughout her seven critically acclaimed collections, Sidney Wade has established herself as a poet with a serious but light touch, capable of the clarity and inventiveness it takes to work a problem to both pleasure and resolution.

Tender Is the Night: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780684801544
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - July 1st, 1995

A modern classic, this edition has been restored by Fitzgerald scholar James L.W.

Wuthering Heights Cover Image
By Emily Bronte, Pauline Nestor (Introduction by), Lucasta Miller (Preface by), Pauline Nestor (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780141439556
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - December 31st, 2002

One of English literature's classic masterpieces—a gripping novel of love, propriety, and tragedy. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

If I Had Two Wings: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324005469
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 4th, 2020

Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction

Mingling the earthy with the otherworldly, these ten stories chronicle ineffable events in ordinary lives.

Staff Pick Badge
Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062248572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - July 28th, 2020

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A Washington Post Top 10 Best Book of 2020 

An Amazon Best Book of 2020 

A New York Times Notable Book 

In the Valley: Stories and a Novella Based on SERENA Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385544290
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - August 4th, 2020

Winner of the 2020 Thomas Robinson Prize for Southern Literature

"Mesmerizing...He's one of the best living American writers."--Janet Maslin, New York Times Book Review

Staff Pick Badge
Writers & Lovers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802148537
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2020

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316477635
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 5th, 2020

"Unique and beguiling... A treasure trove of lush scene setting in faraway times and places...

Ledger: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - March 10th, 2020

A pivotal book of personal, ecological, and political reckoning tuned toward issues of consequence to all who share this world's current and future fate, from the internationally renowned poet.

The Age of Phillis (Wesleyan Poetry) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780819579492
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wesleyan University Press - March 3rd, 2020

Poems imagine the life and times of Phillis Wheatley

The Girl in the Blue Beret: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812978872
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 10th, 2012

Inspired by the wartime experiences of her father-in-law, Bobbie Ann Mason has crafted the haunting and profoundly moving story of an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe, and his wrenching odyssey of discovery, decades later, as he uncovers the truth about those who helped him escape in 1944.

In Country: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060835170
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 1st, 2020

Bobbie Ann Mason’s debut novel—"a brilliant and moving book... a moral tale that entwines public history with private anguish."  —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Shiloh and Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813119489
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Kentucky - October 26th, 1995

" The stories in Bobbie Ann Mason's remarkable collection read like poetic transcriptions of day-to-day life. With her keen eye and ear for late twentieth-century popular culture, Mason can render a photograph of a brightly lit supermarket or a bit of wisdom from the Donahue show.

An Atomic Romance: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812975208
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 11th, 2006

This provocative, rollicking story is the much-anticipated new novel–the first in over a decade–from acclaimed author Bobbie Ann Mason. In An Atomic Romance we meet Reed Futrell, a sexy, thoughtful hero who grapples with radioactive contamination, a midlife crisis, and string theory–all while falling in love.

Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375760617
Availability: Special Order
Published: Modern Library - July 2nd, 2002

In this remarkable book, the author of Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country, and other award-winning books gives us powerful new stories that capture the restless energy of life in contemporary America. The characters here are travelers and seekers, feeling their way toward, or away from the defining moments of their lives.

Nancy Culpepper: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812976670
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 14th, 2007

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.

Feather Crowns: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060925499
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Perennial - September 1st, 2020


From prize-winning author Bobbie Ann Mason, a brilliantly wrought novel about the first woman to give birth to quintuplets in early 1900s America.

Clear Springs: A Family Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060956295
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harper Perennial - September 1st, 2020


The Girl Sleuth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820317397
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - May 1st, 1995

The Girl Sleuth is a book for anyone who fondly recalls her late-night adventures inside a bedspread cave with a flashlight, a handful of snitched cookies, and a savvy heroine who has just two chapters left in which to decode the message, find the jewels, unmask the impostor, and then catch the next express to the big city.

Life After Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616203221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: A Shannon Ravenel Book - November 5th, 2013

"Gorgeously written . . . McCorkle's greatest gift is in illuminating the countless tiny moments that make up our time on Earth."—O: The Oprah Magazine

Award-winning author Jill McCorkle takes us on a splendid journey through time and memory in this, her tenth work of fiction.

Going Away Shoes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616200145
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - September 14th, 2010

"[A] remarkable collection . . . Bold and addictive, Going Away Shoes is a find." —People

The foibles of the people in Jill McCorkle’s world are so familiar that we want nothing so much as to watch them walk into—and then get out of—life’s inevitable traps.

Creatures of Habit Cover Image
ISBN: 9781565123977
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: A Shannon Ravenel Book - March 28th, 2003

Jill McCorkle's new collection of twelve short stories is peopled with characters brilliantly like us-flawed, clueless, endearing. These stories are also animaled with all manner of mammal, bird, fish, reptile-also flawed and endearing. She asks, what don't humans share with the so-called lesser species?

Ferris Beach Cover Image
ISBN: 9781565129313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - September 22nd, 2009

"An amazing novel."— Sarah Dessen

Ferris Beach is a place where excitement and magic coexist. Or so Mary Katherine "Katie" Burns, the only child of middle-aged Fred and Cleva Burns, believes.