Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Mason, Anita

story bethany tells novel

(British, 1942– )

Mason is a novelist who deserves more recognition. Her books combine great intelligence with readability and she has explored new territory with each work, even though she returns to such themes as power, and the way we are manipulated both personally and politically. Her first novel, Bethany (1981), is about an experiment in communal living, told in the first person by a young woman who loves the house's female owner. Mason captures brilliantly all the cross-currents and fluctuating tensions and emotions of the group. Her Booker Prize-shortlisted novel The Illusionist (1983) tells the story of Simon Magus, and makes Judaea and Samaria as close and real as the West Country was in Bethany. She takes us straight to the past without striking a single mock-biblical note, and the narrative is dazzling, as befits a tale about a magician. Angel (1994) is about a female German flyer in the 1930s and gives a completely original perspective on a period about which we thought we knew a great deal. It is wonderfully poetic about flying and aircraft, and tells a moving story of love between two women.

Richard Hughes, Marguerite Yourcenar, Susan Hill  AG

Mason, Bobbie Ann [next] [back] Martin, Valerie

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