Results of the National Book Critics Circle Award in the year 1982.
An ambitious‚ digressive‚ and endlessly entertaining account of the thousand-year history of the George Millses‚ George Mills is the antithesis to the typical Horatio Alger story.
Since the First Crusade‚ there has always been a George Mills‚ who—despite his best efforts—is unable to improve his position in life or that of his descendants. Instead‚ all the George Millses are forced to accept their lot as true blue-collar workers‚ serving important personages in a series of odd jobs ranging from horse talker in a salt mine to working as a furniture mover in contemporary St. Louis. But the latest in the long line of George Millses may also be the last‚ as he obsesses about his family’s history and determines that he will be the one to break this doomed cycle of servitude.
Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not her memory. Ever since 1944 when her husband left her, she has raised her three very different children on her own. Now grown, they have gathered together—with anger, with hope, and with a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell….
“These stories will last,” said Raymond Carver of Shiloh and Other Stories when it was first published, and almost two decades later this stunning fiction debut and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award has become a modern American classic. In “Shiloh”, Bobbie Ann Mason introduces us to her western Kentucky people and the lives they forge for themselves amid the ups and downs of contemporary American life, and she poignantly captures the growing pains of the New South in the lives of her characters as they come to terms with feminism, R-rated movies, and video games.
“Bobbie Ann Mason is one of those rare writers who, by concentrating their attention on a few square miles of native turf, are able to open up new and surprisingly wide worlds for the delighted reader,” said Robert Towers in The New York Review of Books.