Kentucky Reads! Book Discussion

Kentucky Reads! Book Discussion image
  • August 10, 2022
Join us for a book discussion of this year’s Kentucky Reads selection, Dear Ann by Bobbie Ann Mason.
Kentucky Humanities has selected as its 2022 pick for its Kentucky Reads program, Dear Ann, by Bobbie Ann Mason. Kentucky Humanities is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022!
About the book: 
In the transformative years of the late 1960’s, smart yet naive misfit Ann Workman has traveled from rural Kentucky to graduate school in search of an education and the “Real Thing”—to be in love with someone who loves her equally. Then Jimmy appears, as if by magic. A misfit like Ann, Jimmy is a rebel who rejects his upper-class Midwestern upbringing and questions everything. But with the Vietnam War looming and the country in turmoil, their future together is uncertain.
Many years later, Ann recalls this time of innocence—and her own obsession with Jimmy—as she faces another life crisis. Seeking escape from her problems, she tries to imagine where she might be if she had chosen differently all those years ago. What if she had gone to Stanford University instead of a small school on the East Coast? Would she have been caught up in the Summer of Love and its subsequent dark turns? Or would her own good sense have saved her from disaster?

About the author:

Bobbie Ann Mason was raised on her family’s dairy farm in western Kentucky. In childhood, she wrote imitations of the mystery series novels she read and was inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but it wasn’t until college that she discovered other writers, especially the fiction of Hemingway, Salinger, and Fitzgerald.
She earned her B.A. in English at the University of Kentucky in 1962, her M.A. at the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1966, and her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut in 1972. Although her dissertation on Vladimir Nabokov was published (Ardis, 1974), teaching jobs were scarce in the seventies. Thus, she was able to focus on writing fiction while teaching journalism part-time.

Bobbie Ann Mason’s groundbreaking Shiloh and Other Stories won the Pen/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She has won two Southern Book awards and numerous other prizes, including the O. Henry and the Pushcart. She is a former writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.

Ann C. Hall, a Humanities professor at the University of Louisville, will lead our discussion of the book in our beautiful library on Wednesday, August 10 at 6:30pm.  This discussion is FREE but reservations are required. A copy of the book is available to the first 15 people to sign up!

Professor Hall has published A Kind of Alaska: Women in the Plays of O’Neill, Pinter, and Shepard and Phantom Variations: The Adaptations of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera, 1925-present. She is passionate about the humanities, film, the arts, teaching, and performance. She teaches courses in film, modern drama, and interdisciplinary humanities.

This program is a part of Kentucky Humanities’ statewide literacy initiative, Kentucky Reads. For more information on Kentucky Reads and events taking place throughout the state, visit

We would like to that Kentucky Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities for funding programs like Kentucky Reads!

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