Bobbie Ann Mason Writing Styles in Private Lies

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According to William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman in A Handbook to Literature, realism is "fidelity to actuality in its representation." By this they mean that realistic literature calls for the writer to accurately and truthfully depict real life in their writing. Harmon and Holman continue, "Generally, too, realists are believers in democracy, and the materials they elect to describe are the common, the average, the everyday." Realists are interested in everyday details as opposed to large issues; further, they understand that any fiction truthfully reflecting life will be without linearity or even, at times, without plot.

Any student wishing to understand Mason's work needs this basic understanding of realism. Mason has been famously labeled as a "K-mart" or "dirty" realist, and these terms crop up in most critical discussions of the writer. Certainly, "Private Lies" offers evidence in its construction for why Mason has been so described...

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This section contains 376 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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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