Selected Works

"Mason (In Country) is back with a touching novel about love, loss, war, and memory. ...Mason's latest, based on the real-life experiences of her father-in-law, is fascinating and intensely intimate." --Publishers Weekly
"A novel that, like a flashbulb, burns an afterimage in our minds."
--Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times
The author's first book of short stories, including the first four stories published in The New Yorker. Winner, PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction
"[Mason] wraps up her political comments in a touching--and utterly convincing--love story."
--St. Petersburg Times
Collection of short stories from 2001.
This collection of linked stories, 2006, includes the novella " Spence + Lila." "Where do we come from, especially here, in young, upstart America? Who are we, beyond a handful of genes and another handful of random circumstance? [Nancy Culpepper] asks these questions artfully, respectfully, beautifully."
--The Washington Post
"A wonderful novel...riveting...memorable and complete." --New York Times Book Review "A brilliantly sustained and grimly humorous parable about fame in 20th-Century America."--Los Angeles Times
"While exploring her past, Mason might not have intended to write a memoir for America. But she has, and brilliantly so." --San Diego Union
Biographical essay.
A guide to Nancy Drew and other girl detective series books.

Coming in June

“Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader,” with an introduction by George Saunders

“Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader” is coming in June from the University Press of Kentucky.

The paperback of "The Girl in the Blue Beret" is still available in stores and online. Order online by clicking the title in the left column. Go to the Blue Beret tab to read more about the book (and see photos of friends in berets)..

Hardcover, 2011

An airline pilot returns to the site of his 1944 B-17 crash in Europe and finds himself drawn back in time, retracing the trail of his escape through Occupied France and trying to find again the girl guide who led him to safe shelter--the girl in the blue beret.


“Ushering her readers back and forth across the decades, [Bobbie Ann Mason] perfectly weaves history with fiction. . . . In many ways, the book is a tribute to these unsung civilians whose heroism often was never acknowledged by those they helped. . . . [A] near- perfect war story.”
—USA Today

“[This book] will send you dashing to the shelves to devour every- thing else [Mason’s] ever written—it’s that good. . . . A spellbinding tale of war, love and survival [that] alternates seamlessly between World War II and modern Europe . . . Mason’s writing is exquisite. Not a single word is wasted or out of place, and she never drifts toward sentimentality. . . . Not only a remarkable work of historical fiction, it’s also storytelling at its best.” —Associated Press
“Mason’s lovely tale . . . will resonate for many.”
—Good Housekeeping

“Mason has given us a portrait of a man from a generation whose members were uncertain about the protocols of letting oneself feel. And she has lovingly captured the tone of bluff assertion still shared by veterans of that war. . . . The Girl in the Blue Beret is a work of remarkable empathy.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Bobbie Ann Mason has long been considered one of the finest writ- ers of regional fiction—Kentucky is her home and inspiration—but her affecting new novel takes place in France, and she’s just as comfortable and insightful there. . . . A story that’s luxuriously contemplative, sustained by the depth of Mason’s sympathy . . . What a stirring tribute to the Resistance this novel is. . . . Once again, Mason has plumbed the moral dimensions of national conflict in the lives of individual participants and produced a deeply moving, relevant novel.”
—The Washington Post

“Bobbie Ann Mason raises bracing questions about the subjectivity of memory and history [and] nimbly navigates between the stirring past and the suspenseful present.”
—The Boston Globe

“A compelling tale . . . a page-turner, filled with sudden reverses and narrow escapes. It is also an act of remembrance and a tribute.”

“A richly told tale that gives its main character a chance to relearn what it means to be a hero.”
—The Christian Science Monitor

“Renowned American author [Mason] based this haunting novel on her late father-in-law’s wartime experiences, and the rich setting, detail, and intimate character nuances ring true. . . . Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal

“[Conveys], in heartbreaking detail, the suffering of the Parisians and the high cost they paid for freedom. In her fifth novel, the talented Mason offers an emotionally powerful story of the ruinous effects of war.”

“A fabulous tale . . . Mason’s subtle, gorgeous prose keeps us capti- vated. . . . You occasionally pause to marvel at how real her fictional world seems. . . . Mason can say quite a bit about America just by telling one man’s tale.”

“[An] impressive, impassioned new novel . . . The unforgettable story [is] a gripping tale of redemption. . . . Spellbinding and emotional . . . richly crafted.”
—The Miami Herald

“This is a book about then and now, told both in the present and in the past through memories, flashbacks and anecdotes related by characters. This sort of dual timeline has rarely been done as well as Mason does it here. The structure of this book is flawless. . . . It’s a masterful achievement. . . . Mason’s writing is, as always, rendered in the clear, smooth voice of a natural storyteller. . . . Just another one of the pleasures of reading this very high quality literary work.”
—Baton Rouge Advocate

“Mason writes with empathy and rich language, transforming what might have been a midlife crisis into a middle-aged re-evaluation of life that is full of promise for the future.”
—Sacramento News & Review
“Mason’s storytelling manages to juggle two contrasting realities, to rich effect. . . . Mason leads us skillfully from the young, would-be hotshot, who doesn’t look back, to the shut-down older man. . . . She treats her characters kindly, even if time and the world have not.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Ms. Mason has crafted a novel of reconciliation with the past. . . . The Girl in the Blue Beret is a work not to be missed; its audience is universal.”
—The Washington Times

“Richly detailed and insightful . . . [Mason’s] work is never what it simply appears to be on the surface. . . . The subtle intricacies begin way below the visible layer. . . . The Girl in the Blue Beret draws the reader in. . . . So compelling that you might find yourself wishing it had gone on for another hundred pages.”
—The Broadkill Review

“Well worth reading, exposing a subject that stresses the goodness of humanity, of man serving his fellow man despite chilling con- sequences.”
—Washington Missourian

“There’s something for everyone in The Girl in the Blue Beret. It’s part mystery, part quest, part love story, and part nostalgia trip. All the parts are powerful and contribute to an even superior whole.”
—The Manhattan Mercury

“Mason tells the story of a group often overlooked: the French Resistance. . . . The book feels very real. . . . Not everyone re- members things identically, not every hero is perfect, not everyone enjoyed a ‘happily ever after.’ . . . A must-read for World War II enthusiasts.”
—San Francisco Book Review

“Bobbie Ann Mason just keeps outdistancing herself. The Girl in the Blue Beret has everything: adventure, intrigue, fear, sorrow, nostalgic ache, regret, romance, and most importantly, love. She writes of the platonic love of one’s fellow travelers, along with romantic love—and what a beautiful love story it is, told with grace and elegance from the point of view of a narrator you won’t soon forget. I loved this book, and so will you.”
—Richard Bausch, author of Something is Out There and Peace; winner of the PEN/​ Malamud Award for Short Fiction

"A flight through the gripping, war-ravaged past and the discovery of love—Bobbie Ann Mason's moving novel is written with great clarity and insight."
—Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and The Lake of Dreams

“An elegant and eventually lovely story of war, need and apprehension.”
—Roy Blount Jr., author of Alphabetter Juice and Long Time Leaving

Photo by Jenny Lederer

"Mason's lovely tale... will resonate for many."
-- Good Housekeeping

“Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader” is coming in June from the University Press of Kentucky.

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New Fiction
“Live-Hang” is in the current issue of the American Scholar.

BAM by Cynthia Ellingsen

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Chosen as one of the Chicago Tribune's Best Books of 2011

Selected as a Best Book of the Month at Barnes &

"One of three "Hot Summer Literary Fiction" books recommended by USA Today.

The BookCase blog (for BookPage) lists "The Girl in the Blue Beret" as one of the summer's 20 most anticipated books:
"This fabulous tale takes readers into France and to the tumultuous years of World War II. Readers who enjoy Anne Tyler and Mona Simpson will want to get their hands on this one."

The Girl in the Blue Beret

Order under Selected Works Tab.

Readings listed under Happenings Tab.

Photos of friends in Berets--
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A Friend in a Blue Beret

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