Synopses & Reviews
Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt (her second), National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is
, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West are a ferocious, dazzling panorama of American folly and fate.
"Every ranch...had lost a boy," thinks Dakotah Hicks as she drives through "the hammered red landscape" of Wyoming, "boys smiling, sure in their risks, healthy, tipped out of the current of life by liquor and acceleration, rodeo smashups, bad horses, deep irrigation ditches, high trestles, tractor rollovers and 'unloaded' guns. Her boy, too...The trip along this road was a roll call of grief."
Proulx's characters try to climb out of poverty and desperation but get cut down as if the land itself wanted their blood. Deeply sympathetic to the men and women fighting to survive in this harsh place, Proulx turns their lives into fiction with the power of myth -- and leaves the reader in awe. The winner of two O. Henry Prizes, Annie Proulx has been anthologized in nearly every major collection of great American stories. Her bold, inimitable language, her exhilarating eye for detail and her dark sense of humor make this a profoundly compelling collection.
"Proulx writes with clear-eyed, ironic affection about life in the real West, not the sentimental version.... Breathtaking." -- Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times
"Astonishing.... 'Tits-up in a Ditch' breaks new literary ground with the gut-wrenching tale of an Iraq veteran who returns to her family raw with grief... unforgettable characters." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"'Tits-Up in a Ditch' ... rivals Proulx's famous 'Brokeback Mountain' in the tender-tough emotional trajectory it explores." -- Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
"Deliciously macabre stories....A must for fans." -- People, 3 1/2 stars
"[Proulx] shows without mincing words that the present-day West is every bit as inhumane and vengeful as it was way back when... Excellent and original...." -- Kate Christensen, Elle
"Nine unforgettable stories.... [An] assured and unnerving collection." -- Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Brilliant." -- Associated Press
"[Fine Just the Way It Is] bears Proulx's brand of hard drama, hard irony, hard weather and hard and soft characters blown about and many times destroyed by the powerful mix..... She writes like a demon." -- Ron Carlson, The New York Times Book Review
"Vivid.... In the tour de force finale ... we see the method in Proulx's genius, where he enchanting description, unparalleled sentence structure, and unwavering insight combine to reveal both the coldest and most resilient recesses of the human heart." -- Pam Houston, O, the Oprah Magazine
"[Fine Just the Way It Is] takes gigantic steps toward securing Proulx's position as one of the most inventive yet, at the same time, traditional story writers working today." -- Booklist, starred review
Now in trade paperback from National Book award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx—an "unforgettable" (Miami Herald
) and "vivid" (O, The Oprah Magazine
) collection of stories set in Wyoming.
Winner of two O. Henry Prizes, Annie Proulx has been anthologized in nearly every major collection of great American stories. Her bold, inimitable language, her exhilarating eye for detail, her dark sense of humor, and her compassion inform this profoundly compelling collection of stories.
Proulx creates a fierce, visceral panorama of American folly and fate in these nine dazzling stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West. Each character is a pioneer of a sort—some are billionaires, some are escapists, and some just think the rest of the country has it wrong. Deeply sympathetic to the men and women fighting to survive in this harsh place, Proulx turns their lives into fiction with the power of myth, leaving the reader in awe.
About the Author
Annie Proulx's The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She is the author of two other novels: Postcards, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Accordion Crimes. She has also written two collections of short stories, Heart Songs and Other Stories and Close Range. In 2001, The Shipping News was made into a major motion picture. Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland.