E. Annie Proulx

Apart from the fact that she used to live in Vermont and now lives in Wyoming, I don't have much biographical information.

(At the moment, I give the titles, year of publication, publisher, ISBN where I have it, the cover artist of (my) paperback editions, and the blurb that appears on that edition.


* Postcards (1993, Fourth Estate; 1994, Flamingo [ISBN: 0 00 654668 4], cover photograph by Douglas Brothers)
"Postcards is the story of Loyal Blood, a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman. The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in 1944 and propels Blood across the American West for forty years. Denied love and unable to settle, he lives a hundred different lives: mining gold, growing beans, hunting fossils, trapping, prospecting for uranium, and ranching. His only contact with his past is through a series of postcards he sends home -- not realising that in his absence disaster has befallen his family, and their deep-rooted connection with the land has been severed with devastating consequences."
* The Shipping News (1993, Fourth Estate [ISBN: 1 85702 242 4], cover design by Andrea Pinnington, using a detail from "April Iceberg off Bragg's Island" by David Blackwood)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1994, the Irish Times International Prize, and the National Book Award
"Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. When his no-good wife is killed in a spectacular road accident, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers -- the remotest corner of far-flung Newfoundland. With `the aunt' and his delinquent daughters - Bunny and Sunshine - in tow, Quoyle finds himself a part of an unfolding, exhilarating Atlantic drama. The Shipping News is an irresistible comedy of human life and possibility."
* Accordion Crimes (1996, Fourth Estate - hardback - [ISBN: 1 85702 575 X], cover photograph by Katherine Szoka)
"This is the story of a green, two-row, button accordion. Its Sicilian maker has a vision of freedom and a future in La Merica. New Orleans brings an end to the musician's tale, but the accordion's story is only beginning.
"Out in the midwest prairie German farmers grind out music. The accordion's music sounds in the Cajun bayoux and in a lonely Chicago tenement. A Tex-Mex virtuoso gives it a secret and colours the hot Texan nights. A French-Canadian orphan struggles to master the instrument. A Basque sheepherder plays it in the mountains. A young girl rejects it for rap.
"A restless nation comes alive in Accordion Crimes. Utterly original, this is a novel which stays in the mind like an old song, and tugs at the memory like a half-forgotten tune."

Short Stories

* Heart Songs (1995, Fourth Estate; 1996, paperback edition [ISBN: 1 85702 404 4], cover design by Andreas Purdie, using a photograph by Ben Shahn)
Note: This isn't the book Heart Songs and other Stories (1988, Charles Scribner's Sons), though the contents apparently overlap. See below for details of what might be the latter collection.
  1. On the Antler
  2. Stone City
  3. Bedrock
  4. A Run of Bad Luck
  5. Heart Songs
  6. The Unclouded Day
  7. In the Pit
  8. The Wer-Trout
  9. Electric Arrows
  10. A Country Killing
  11. Negatives

(2 and 6 first appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, 5 and 8 in Esquire, 1 in Harrowsmith, and 4 in Ploughshares.) "Just outside the town, beyond the drugstore and the diner, there's another world - a wilderness - waiting to be explored. On the high, wooded hillsides there are deer to be stalked, grouse to be shot, and traplines to be laid for fur. Here, in blue-collar New England, the dispossessed working class is confronted by a young bourgeoisie, and life revolves around hunting. As well as laying traps for each other - be it out of malice or misunderstanding - the men and women of these stories are all hunting for something better in a place where survival is hard enough."
* Heart Songs and Other Stories (1995, Fourth Estate - hardback - [ISBN: 1 85702 299 8])
"In the far-flung settlements of New England, life revolves around hunting. But the men and women of these stories are all hunting for something better. This book takes the reader on a trail through the great outdoors to the innermost places of the heart."

(I haven't seen this -- it might just be the hard-back version of the previous book. As soon as I know, I'll amend the entry.)

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