Clear Springs : A Family Story
People love and remember the novels of Bobbie Ann Mason because they ring so true. This dazzling memoir saga of three generations, their aspirations, their conflicts, and the ties that bound them to one another. Spanning decades, Clear Springs gracefully weaves together the stories of Mason's grandparents, parents, and her won generation. The narrative moves from the sober industriousness of a Kentucky farm to the hippie lifestyle of the countercultural 1960s; from a New York fan magazine to the shock-therapy ward of a mental institution; from a county poorhouse to the set of a Hollywood movie; from a small rustic schoolhouse to glittering pop music concerts. In the process of recounting her own odyssey--the story of a misfit girl who dreamed of distant places--Mason depicts the changes that have come to family, to women, and to heartland America in the twentieth century. Ultimately, Clear Springs is a heartfelt portrait of an extended family, and a profound affirmation of the importance of family love.
- Paperback | 336 pages
- 134 x 203 x 20mm | 290g
- 01 May 2000
- HARPER PERENNIAL
- New York, NY, United States
- Illustrations, black and white
Back cover copy
People love and remember the novels of Bobbie Ann Mason because the stories she tells of family life ring true. In this dazzling memoir, Mason tells her own story -- a multilayered saga of three generations that recaptures a way of life that has all but disappeared: a country culture deeply rooted in work and food and family, in common sense and music and the land. In Clear Springs, Mason writes about the lives of her parents and grandparents and gracefully weaves together several different lives, decades, and locales, moving from the sober industry of a Kentucky farm to the hippie lifestyle of the '60s New York counterculture to the shock-therapy ward of a mental institution; from a farmhouse to the set of a Hollywood movie; from a small rustic schoolhouse to pop music concerts. Mason depicts the changes that have come to family, to women, and to heartland America in the twentieth century, and tells her own odyssey -- how a misfit girl who only dreamed of distant places grew up and fulfilled her ambition to be a writer.
"While exploring her past, Mason might not have intended to write a memoir for America. But she has, and brilliantly so." -- "Associated Press""Plain-spoken, thoughtful, sometimes humorous, but never cloying, Mason's recollections of growing up in the country, striking out for the wider world in the 1960s, and then spiraling back toward her roots, are sure to resonatewith a wide audience." -- "Los Angeles Times""Fiction writer Bobbie Ann Mason's memoir tells the powerful story of the true country people of Clear Spring, Ky. . . .The book is a model of memoir and family history as Mason moves easily from her childhood back to herparents' early lives, and beyond."-- "Chicago Tribune""There is a sense of joyous purity to this book. The author is so obviously enraptured by her discoveries of the past.... Among the most amazing passages is her recreation of the possible thoughts of her paternal grandmother, a woman she had loved dearly but about whose youth and earlylife she knew little.... This book is her paean, her song of joy."-- "Knoxville News-Sentinel""Among the many strengths of Mason's memoir is its careful subtlety. Master writer that she is, Mason doesn't overplay her transformation, and that's why we feels its effects so strongly." -- "San Francisco Examiner"