Introduction & Overview of Private Lies

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Private Lies.
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Private Lies Summary & Study Guide Description

Private Lies Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on Private Lies by Bobbie Ann Mason.

"Private Lies," first published in the March 1983 issue of The Atlantic and a classic Bobbie Ann Mason story, is set in the western Kentucky of her youth—a landscape dotted with a growing number of fast food restaurants and big box stores. As Laura Fine notes, "The people of Mason's stories are predominately lower-middle class white heterosexuals who could live in any subdivision or farm in the country," and the characters of "Private Lies" are just those kind of people. Like Mason's other characters, Mickey, Tina, and Donna are in transition.

Appearing in Mason's collection of short stories, Love Life (1989), "Private Lies" introduces themes of loss, grief, and mourning by characters who seem divorced from their own inner feelings, as well as from each other. Furthermore, in "Private Lies," Mason explores the shaky ground of gender in contemporary culture.

"Private Lies" has not received the kind of critical attention lavished on Mason's other stories such as "Shiloh," "Big Bertha Stories," and "Love Life." Nevertheless, with its laconic, spare style, and in its attention to painful moments of the heart, "Private Lies" is a story worth studying, one that reveals the importance of past relationships to present lives.

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This section contains 199 words
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Buy the Private Lies Study Guide
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Private Lies from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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