Shiloh Essay

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Henningfeld is an assistant professor of English at Adrian College, in Adrian, Michigan. In the essay below, she offers a general introduction to "Shiloh."

Bobbie Ann Mason's short story "Shiloh" appeared initially in the New Yorker and later became the title story of her first collection. Reviewers praised Mason for her spare realism and her ear for the language of the people of western Kentucky.

Several critics have identified Mason's style as an example of minimalism, a literary movement characterized by spare, unornamented prose and use of specific, concrete detail. Minimalist fiction often takes as its subject the small events in the lives of characters. Such writers as the late Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, and Jayne Anne Phillips, as well as Mason, have been identified with this style of writing. Sometimes, critics use the term "K-Mart fiction" to describe the style.

Mason herself is uncomfortable with labels...

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This section contains 1,958 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Shiloh Study Guide
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Shiloh from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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