Entry updated 25 September 2023. Tagged: Author.
(1976- ) US doctor and author who remains best known for his first novel, The Piano Tuner (2002), an ostensibly nonfantastic tale which follows the eponymous expert into the heart of 1886 Burma, where a chthonic myth-fomenting physician's piano must be tuned in order for him to bring harmony to conflicting factions. Analogies with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899; 1902) have been noted. Several of the tales assembled in A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth (coll 2020) variously employ the Fantastika toolkit. Mason's fourth novel, North Woods (2023), which moves through interspersed stages from the 1760s into the Near Future, focuses on a yellow house with a mysterious black door in the uplands of Massachusetts and an adjacent (perhaps metaphorically overloaded) apple tree. Lives, human and otherwise, mortal and ghost, pass backwards and forwards in a dance that thins as "progress" and Climate Change threaten to flatten the world. But seeds remain. [JC]
born California: 1976
- The Piano Tuner (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2002) [hb/]
- North Woods (New York: Random House, 2023) [hb/]
collections and stories
- A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2020) [coll: hb/]
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