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Heart Songs


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About the Author

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.


Downtrodden country folk in New England are at the heart and soul of this compilation of 11 short stories. The stories focus on rural activities (hunting or fishing) and sometimes delve into class differences between the poor townspeople and the rich outsiders. Although the subject matter may not appeal to every reader, the stories flow effortlessly and the prose is elegant. In "Heart Songs," Snipe pursues a calling in country music while recognizing in himself "a secret wish to step off into some abyss of bad taste and moral sloth." The author refers to another character as "thin as a folded dollar bill, her hand as narrow and cold as a trout." Proulx creates vivid characters with a clever turn of phrase or an illuminating analogy. This collection, initially published in 1988, includes two new short stories: "A Country Killing" and "Negatives." Recommended for most collections, though libraries with the 1988 edition may wish to pass.-Kimberly G. Allen, Network MCI Lib., Washington, D.C.

"Sharp, memorable, utterly original tales of life in rural New England." Esquire "Proulx is at home in natural surroundings; her gift for description is both taut and unlavish and she shows the true countryman's respect for hunter and hunted alike. Her people are alive; the domestic detail as sharply defined as in a Dutch genre painting.'" Evening Standard "The precision of Proulx's observation has a large value that implies an entire culture." Financial Times "The distinguishing ingredient that makes Proulx such a tonic is her passion for language...Her descriptive skill is both intriguing and economical." Independent on Sunday "The writing bristles with laconic insights." Independent "Proulx's descriptive power is such that when you're not laughing or cringing, you're gasping with envy." Independent "Proulx's prose is monumental." Observer "Proulx's feeling for the texture of place and characters is impeccable." Scotland on Sunday "America's most impressive new novelist... matchlessly capturing the rewards and rigours of life in the rural remoteness of America's far north-east, the stories in Heart Songs focus on characters almost elementally close to harsh landscapes and hard ways of life. Tough knowledgeableness about their circumstances goes along with a style that is elatingly fresh and crisp with sensuous delicacy." Sunday Times "The style of Heart Songs is a long-rythmed, almost majestic prose that can create images of perfect newness and accuracy...a polished, unflinching work." The Times "These are magnificent wrenching pieces." Vogue

The acclaimed debut short story collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News. (Mar.)

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