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Nancy Culpepper

Stories

Bobbie Ann Mason

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Description

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 from her thoughts, her habits, and her heart.

Nancy is on a lifelong quest to understand her place in the world. Returning home to the family farm, she searches for photographic evidence of an ancestor bearing her own name. Still in her jeans, she brings home strange ideas and an assertiveness she learned up north.
Always adventurous, Nancy travels far and wide–searching, seeking. The narrative sweep of her life traverses the turbulent sixties, the Vietnam War, the eighties and the foreboding death of John Lennon, and finally the new millennium–when a self-assured Nancy finally emerges. These humorous and often touching stories recount her courtship and marriage to Jack, her relationship with her precocious son, and the deep, loving bond between her parents, Spence and Lila Culpepper. Eventually Nancy’s marriage is threatened by a cultural divide that plagued her and Jack from the start. But when she inherits the Culpepper family farm and discovers more pieces of her ancestral puzzle, she realizes that her life is assuming its proper shape. Later, standing on a lonely mountain in England, she sees the world from a surprising perspective.

Bestselling author Bobbie Ann Mason’s prizewinning Nancy Culpepper chronicles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Southern Review, and other distinguished literary anthologies. She has compiled these stories into one definitive collection, which includes the novella Spence + Lila, two new, never-before-published stories, and one Pushcart Prize winner. Heartfelt and thought-provoking, Nancy Culpepper is a poignant depiction of change and growth in a modern-day heroine.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 24, 2006 – A somber, slow-going drama in stories by award-winning author Mason (An Atomic Romance) follows a Kentucky farm family's quiet changes over the decades. When the first story begins in 1980, Nancy, the elder daughter of the Culpepper family, is in her late 30s, has an eight-year-old son with husband Jack Cleveland (a Yankee) and lives outside Philadelphia. Returning to the family farm to help her parents, Lila and Spence, move Granny into a nursing home, Nancy concerns herself with old photographs buried in Granny's house that feature Nancy's namesake, a long-lost aunt whom no one seems to know anything about. Subsequent stories deal with Granny's death, the decline and death of Jack's dog, the building tension between Nancy and Jack—both yearning for the spontaneity of their swinging '60s courtship—and the fate of the Culpepper farm. In the longest story, Lila is diagnosed with breast cancer, undergoes surgery and is lovingly nursed by Spence, Nancy and her sister, Cat. Though detailed and honest in its depiction of illness and loss and skillful in handling Nancy's lingering discomfort with the North, Mason's novel-in-stories lacks her usual sparkle.
Nancy Culpepper
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Jul 11, 2006
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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