The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 23, 2015

    Bryan Doerries: IMG Using Greek Tragedies to Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable

    In ancient Athens, during the fifth century BC, military service was required of all citizens. To be a citizen meant being a soldier, and vice... Continue »
    1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
5 Partner Warehouse General- General

More copies of this ISBN

Nancy Culpepper: Stories (06 Edition)


Nancy Culpepper: Stories (06 Edition) Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. Linked stories have a long tradition in American fiction — Sherwood Andersons “Winesburg, Ohio” and Ernest Hemingways “In Our Time,”  for instance.  How do these stories about Nancy Culpepper work together?  What threads unite them into a sustained narrative?

2. Photographs play an important role in the stories, from Jacks artistic compositions to the family photos that Nancy seeks. How is the relationship between Nancy and Jack suggested by the different ways they regard photographs?

3. There are several weddings and at least two long marriages in Nancy Culpepper. How is the marriage of Nancys parents different from Nancys marriage to Jack? How similar?  How is a “good marriage”  defined in the different generations and places, and what would your own definition be?

4. The cultural divide that Nancy feels is expressed in numerous ways.  Where exactly does she live in her mind and heart? Is this “schizophrenic” sensibility familiar in modern life?  Does her devotion to her parents and her home place hold her back, as Jack believes?

5. What happens to Nancy in “Proper Gypsies?” After the burglary and the conversation with the locksmith, Nancy tours “London by fury.”  How do we account for her state of mind in the music store, Westminster Abbey, the restaurant, Trafalgar Square?

6. In the final story, “The Prelude,” Nancys history professor comments, “history is imagination.”  How does this comment apply to Nancy as a historian?  In “The Heirs,” is the story of the farm women something Nancy imagines? How convincing is it? What do you see of Nancy herself in the story of Nova and Artemisia?

7. Images of garden vegetables, especially peas, appear in several of the stories. How do these images reflect Nancys attitude toward her rural heritage?  Why does her mother (page 138) want to remember to “Tell Nancy about the peas”?  When Nancy is in the Lake District in the final story, how do the Scarlet beans complete this thread?

8. Spences view of his farm in the first paragraph of page 131 informs his view of the world.  Compare this to how Nancy understands the world. Consider the passage at the end of “the Heirs,” page 202, the landscape Nancy remembers from her childhood.

9. Nancy goes to England several times over the years. Why do you think Nancy, in “The Prelude,” was “On a Romantic kick . . . tracing the footsteps of Coleridge and Wordsworth”?  Where does the news Jack brings fit into her preoccupation?  Does her obsession help her to deal with change?

10. Why is the last story called “The Prelude?”

Product Details

Mason, Bobbie Ann
Random House Trade
Short Stories (single author)
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Stories (single author)
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.96x5.32x.59 in. .42 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Nancy Culpepper: Stories (06 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812976670 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Bestselling author Masons prizewinning Nancy Culpepper chronicles have appeared in "The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Southern Review," and literary anthologies. Now, she compiles these heartfelt and thought-provoking stories into one definitive collection.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at