Close Range by Annie Proulx
Close Range: Book summary and reviews of Close Range by Annie Proulx
Close Range Summary
Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in this collection of stories about loneliness, quick violence, and wrong kinds of love. In "The Mud Below," a rodeo rider's obsession marks the deepening fissures between his family life and self-imposed isolation. In "The Half-Skinned Steer," an elderly fool drives west to the ranch he grew up on for his brother's funeral, and dies a mile from home. In "Brokeback Mountain," the difficult affair between two cowboys survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.
These are stories of desperation, hard times, and unlikely elation, set in a landscape both brutal and magnificent. Enlivened by folk tales, flights of fancy, and details of ranch and rural work, they juxtapose Wyoming's traditional character and attitudes -- confrontation of tough problems, prejudice, persistence in the face of difficulty -- with the more benign values of the new west.
In a unique collaboration that revives the tradition of the Scribner illustrated classics, Proulx has worked with the artist William Matthews, whose six watercolors create an eloquent visual dialogue.
Stories in Close Range have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and GQ. They have been selected for the O. Henry Stories 1998 and The Best American Short Stories of the Century and have won the National Magazine Award for Fiction. This is work by an author writing at the peak of her craft.
Close Range Reviews
"This marvelous collection proves that Proulx's Pulitzer Prize for The Shipping News was no one-shot deal. Set in Wyoming, the 11 stories 'feature down-on-their-luck ranchers, cowboys, and working men who watch helplessly as the modern world leaves them behind.'" - Library Journal
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Close Range Reader Reviews
Annie Proulx Author Biography
Edna Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut, to parents of French-Canadian ancestry. She graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine, then attended Colby College "for a short period in the 1950s." She later returned to school, studying at the University of Vermont from 1966 to 1969, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1969. She got her Master of Arts from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Quebec in 1973 and pursued, but did not complete, her Ph.D. Starting as a journalist, her first published work of fiction is thought to be "The Customs Lounge," a science fiction story published in the September 1963 issue of If, under the byline "E.A....
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