/ Key title Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx follows the success of Close Range with another remarkable collection of short stories set in Wyoming. / A brilliant new collection of short stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News / The first Wyoming Stories collection Close Range was a number one bestseller and sold 12,000 copies in hardback and 50,000 copies in paperback
E. Annie Proulx is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Shipping News" and the acclaimed 'Accordion Crimes'. She was born in 1935 in Connecticut USA, where her family have lived since 1635, but has spent most of her life in Vermont. She has been a newspaper editor, medical writer, historian and author. Her first book was a collection of short stories, 'Heart Songs and Other Stories'. Her first novel, 'Postcards', was published when she was in her 50s.
The beautiful and harsh terrain of Wyoming and the tough and often eccentric people who make their lives there are again on display in this collection of stories (a sequel to the much-lauded Close Range: Wyoming Stories). In "What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?" Gilbert Wolfscale struggles with drought and debt to hold on to the ranch that has been passed down in his family for generations, driving off his wife and two sons, who have no interest in continuing the legacy. Many old-time ranch owners in this territory are women, and they face similar struggles: in "The Trickle Down Effect," Fiesta Punch hires local ne'er-do-well Deb Sipple for a long-distance hay haul, with disastrous results. Proulx does leaven her tales of hardship and woe with a dry humor, and she doesn't forget to tackle the misguided romance sought by newcomers to the land, as in "Man Crawling Out of Trees," in which a retired couple from the Northeast find that the quiet truce of their marriage can't survive encounters with the resentful locals. While none of the stories in this collection approaches the sweep and wholeness of "Brokeback Mountain" (the standout story from Close Range, and soon to be a major film), and other pieces are little more than whimsical sketches (sometimes with a touch of the magical), they paint a rich, colorful picture of local life. Agent, Liz Darhansoff. (Nov. 30) Forecast: Though this doesn't pack the same punch as the first collection and a few fans may drift away, Proulx should pick up new readers if the Brokeback Mountain movie does well. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Praise for Bad Dirt: 'Proulx writes in wonderful stews, everything thrown in together...the stories demand a second reading.' Daily Telegraph 'Her keen eye for idiosyncrasy ensures her continuing reputation as one of the shrewdest chroniclers of contemporary America.' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph 'Vivid and evocative... as [the stories] gather force, you find yourself being drawn in to their momentum.' Financial Times 'Proulx['s]...stories, whose sour sometimes brutal folksiness gains a singular resonance from the fine, sinewy prose in which they are rendered.' The Times 'Packed with grittily persuasive detail, they feel both modern and as timeless as the Wyoming plains.' Marie Claire 'Book of the Month' 'Performs inspired imaginative feats' Alex Clark, Sunday Times Praise for Close Range: 'A stunning collection of eleven tales about the hard lives of the ranchers, cowpokes and country wives who struggle to survive in an unforgiving environment. Written in a wonderfully flexible style that can be both spare and extravagant, her book has been hailed by American critics as a masterpiece.' Daily Telegraph 'Like a mystic seeing the transfigured universe, she recreates the beauty of ordinary things.' Independent on Sunday 'The detail is meticulous, the prose poetic and Proulx's fiction teems with life. Above all, her stories engage the heart. Magical.' Tatler 'Proulx's style, compressed, elastic, hard-hitting, is inimitable: close to poetry but never self-indulgent. This is writing to be savoured.' Sunday Telegraph 'These are tales we can almost feel in our bones.' Sunday Times 'As lean, confident and exact as a stylist, and as good a storyteller, as you could hope for. Buy this book.' Observer 'Individually, these 11 tales have a tautness and an urgency that are never less than exhilarating. Collectively, they encapsulate an entire, unremittingly bleak world. To find the pulse of humanity in such desperate lives betokens a writer of genius.' Saturday Telegraph
Pulitzer Prize winner Proulx offers a sequel to her Close Range: Wyoming Stories. Elk Tooth dwellers figure prominently-characters "broke, proud, ingenious, and setting heels against civilized society's pull." In "Hell Hole," Wyoming Game and Fish Warden Creel Zmundzinski accidentally finds a portal to hell on the land he patrols, handy for the disposal of poachers and hence a way to save himself a lot of tedious paperwork. In "Florida Rental," Amanda Gribb finds a radical solution to the problem of a ruthless rancher who has turned his cattle onto her land for grazing. Other, longer stories feature people with their broken homes and broken hearts littering the state, e.g., "Men Crawling Out of Trees," in which Northeasterners Mitchell and Eugenie experience the unraveling of their complicated marriage in the stripped-bare environment of Wyoming. This poignant and often humorous collection is packed with well-drawn characters that linger in the mind and heart. As expected, the Wyoming landscape is the enduring character in each story, silently wielding its magical and brutal power. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Jyna Scheeren, Troy P.L., NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.