The Mountain People is a collection of short stories whose common locale is the great mountain ranges of California. Although the stories have a rural atmosphere, they deal with human situations which are universal. These situations are presented in a style that varies widely from story to story. Some of the stories are realistic, and some are humorous. There is also one that is pure fantasy. My purpose was to explore various techniques of presenting characters isolated from one another by both external and internal circumstances. The first story, "Winter Solstice," carries the element that shows up through the series of stories. It is the inability of the characters to establish relationships with one another. Their lives are tangent and unfulfilled. This first story concerns a woman attempting to deal with her socially unacceptable emotional reactions. "Merle Straw" is a man unable to communicate with others or even with himself. The difficulty of understanding another person's values, and the conflict between the individual and society are the concerns in the story "The Woman of Panther Creek," while in "The Biggest Bear in the County," the consideration is with a child just on the fringes of an adult world which is seen but not quite comprehended. Another immature individual is found in "A Romantic Tale." The girl in this story has not yet managed to feel beyond her own needs and expectations. Like most of the characters in this series, she is able only to experience tangent relationships with the people around her. "Frogs' Legs" is about another relationship that briefly expands into a triangle. There is a suggestion that a satisfactory relationship might be possible, but it would have to be maintained under constant tension. The final story, "The Keeper," is an experiment. I attempted to sustain a lyrical quality, using rich description and a mythological setting. Here, again, an unfulfilled relationship is a central factor. These stories, then, reflect some of the difficulties involved in the process of communicating with fellow human beings, no matter what their physical environment. It is a universal problem.