Residents and Transients Criticism

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After initially appearing in the Boston Review, Mason's short story, "Residents and Transients," was collected in her first collection of fiction, Shiloh and Other Stories, published in 1982. The volume was favorably received by critics and readers and earned nominations for a National Book Critics Circle Award, an American Book Award, and a PEN/Faulkner Award. Mason also won the 1983 Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award. "Residents and Transients" is considered an important story in the collection.

Reviewers noted Mason's understated prose; her characters speak in convincing dialogue, and it is possible to hear the rural Kentucky dialect in their speech patterns. However, some reviewers disliked this style, suggesting that Mason's characters and stories are both unconvincing and insignificant.

Both Gene Lyons and Anne Tyler offered praise for Mason. Lyons found Mason's simple prose to be a positive characteristic of her work, while Tyler deemed Mason "a full-fledged master of the...

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Residents and Transients from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.