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Annie Proulx

Edna Ann Proulx (; born August 22, 1935) is an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. She has written most frequently as Annie Proulx but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. Proulx.

She won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her first novel, Postcards. Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was adapted as a 2001 film of the same name. Her short story "Brokeback Mountain" was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning major motion picture released in 2005.

Personal life

Proulx was born Edna Ann Proulx in Norwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Lois Nellie (Gill) and George Napoleon Proulx. Her first name honored one of her mother's aunts. She is of English and French-Canadian ancestry. Her maternal forebears came to America fifteen years after the Mayflower, in 1635. She graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine, then attended Colby College "for a short period in the 1950s", where she met her first husband H. Ridgely Bullock, Jr. She later returned to college, studying at the University of Vermont from 1966 to 1969, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree in History in 1969. She earned her M.A. degree from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Quebec in 1973 and pursued, but did not complete, a Ph.D. In 1999, Concordia awarded her an honorary doctorate.

Proulx lived for more than 30 years in Vermont, has married and divorced three times, and has three sons and a daughter (named Jonathan, Gillis, Morgan, and Sylvia). In 1994, she moved to Saratoga, Wyoming, spending part of the year in northern Newfoundland on a small cove adjacent to L'Anse aux Meadows. Proulx now lives near Seattle, Washington.

Proulx has four sisters: twins Joyce and Janet, who live in Louisiana and Florida respectively; Roberta, of Fairlee, Vermont; and Jude, another writer who lives in Wales.

Writing career and recognition

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. Proulx". Another contender, a year later, was a science fiction story called "All the Pretty Little Horses", which appeared in teen magazine Seventeen in June 1964. She subsequently published stories in Esquire magazine and Gray's Sporting Journal in the late 1970s, eventually publishing her first collection in 1988 and her first novel in 1992. Subsequently, she was awarded NEA (in 1992) and Guggenheim (in 1993) fellowships.

A few years after receiving much attention for The Shipping News, she had the following comment on her celebrity status:

It's not good for one's view of human nature, that's for sure. You begin to see, when invitations are coming from festivals and colleges to come read (for an hour for a hefty sum of money), that the institutions are head-hunting for trophy writers. Most don't particularly care about your writing or what you're trying to say. You're there as a human object, one that has won a prize. It gives you a very odd, ginger kind of sensation.

In 1997, Annie Proulx was awarded the Dos Passos Prize, a mid-career award for American writers. Proulx has twice won the O. Henry Prize for the year's best short story. In 1998, she won for "Brokeback Mountain", which had appeared in The New Yorker on October 13, 1997. Proulx won again the following year for "The Mud Below," which appeared in The New Yorker June 22 and 29, 1999. Both appear in her 1999 collection of short stories, Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The lead story in this collection, entitled "The Half-Skinned Steer", was selected by author Garrison Keillor for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 1998, (Proulx herself edited the 1997 edition of this series) and later by novelist John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century (1999). In 2001 Proulx was one of the writers heavily criticized by Brian Reynolds Myers in his polemical work A Reader's Manifesto.

In 2007, the composer Charles Wuorinen approached Proulx with the idea of turning her short story "Brokeback Mountain" into an opera. The opera of the same name with a libretto by Proulx herself premiered January 28, 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid. It was praised for an often brilliant adaptation that clearly conveyed the text of the libretto with music that is rich in imagination and variety. In 2017 she received the Fitzgerald Award for that year for Achievement in American Literature.

Bibliography

Nonfiction

  • Proulx, Annie (1980). Great grapes : grow the best ever. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications.
  • Proulx, Annie; Nichols, Lew (1980). Sweet & hard cider : making it, using it, & enjoying it. Charlotte, Vermont: Garden Way Publishing.
  • Plan and Make Your Own Fences & Gates, Walkways, Walls & Drives (1983), ISBN 0-87857-452-2
  • The Gourmet Gardener: Growing Choice Fruits and Vegetables with Spectacular Results (1987), ISBN 0-449-90227-7
  • Bird Cloud: A Memoir (2011), ISBN 978-0-7432-8880-4
  • Foreword (2018) In: Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates. Alethea Y. Steingisser, Emilene Ostlind, Hall Sawyer, James E. Meacham, Matthew J. Kauffman, and William J. Rudd (Eds.).ISBN 978-0870719431

Novels

  • Postcards (1992), ISBN 0-684-83368-9
  • The Shipping News (1993), ISBN 0-684-85791-X
  • Accordion Crimes (1996), ISBN 0-684-19548-8
  • That Old Ace in the Hole (2002), ISBN 0-684-81307-6
  • Barkskins (2016), ISBN 978-0-7432-8878-1

Short fiction

Collections

  • Heart Songs and Other Stories (1988), ISBN 0-684-18717-5; republished with altered but similar content as trade paperback Heart Songs (1994) ISBN 1-86373-777-4
  • Close Range: Wyoming Stories (1999), ISBN 0-684-85222-5
  • Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 (2004), ISBN 0-7432-5799-5
  • Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3 (2008), ISBN 978-1-4165-7166-7

Stories

Awards and Republications

  • 2018—Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction
  • 2017—National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (lifetime achievement)
  • 2012—United States Artists Fellow award
  • 2004—Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for "The Wamsutter Wolf"
  • 2002—Best Foreign Language Novels of 2002 / Best American Novel Award, Chinese Publishing Association and Peoples' Literature Publishing House (That Old Ace in the Hole)
  • 2000—WILLA Literary Award, Women Writing the West
  • 2000—Borders Original Voices Award in Fiction (Close Range, Wyoming Stories)
  • 2000—"People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water," The Best American Short Stories 2000
  • 2000—English-Speaking Union's Ambassador Book Award (Close Range: Wyoming Stories)
  • 2000—The New Yorker Book Award, Best Fiction 1999 (Close Range: Wyoming Stories)
  • 1999—"Half-Skinned Steer", The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike
  • 1999—"The Bunchgrass Edge of the World," The Best American Short Stories 1999
  • 1999—"The Mud Below," O. Henry Awards: Prize Stories 1999
  • 1998—"Brokeback Mountain", National Magazine Award
  • 1998—"Brokeback Mountain", O. Henry Awards O. Henry Awards: Prize Stories 1998
  • 1998—"Half-Skinned Steer", The Best American Short Stories 1998
  • 1997—John Dos Passos Prize for Literature (for body of work)
  • 1997—Shortlisted for the 1997 Orange Prize (Accordion Crimes)
  • 1994—Pulitzer Prize, Fiction The Shipping News
  • 1993—National Book Award, Fiction The Shipping News
  • 1993—Irish Times International Fiction Prize The Shipping News
  • 1993—Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction The Shipping News
  • 1993—PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (Postcards)

Film adaptations

  • The Shipping News (2001) was directed by Lasse Hallström and featured Kevin Spacey as the protagonist Quoyle, Judi Dench as Agnis Hamm and Julianne Moore as Wavey Prowse.
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005), directed by Ang Lee and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, was based on a story of the same name in Proulx's collection of short stories, Close Range.

References

Further reading

  • "Annie Proulx." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2011. [1]
  • Hennessy, Denis M. "Annie Proulx." American Short-Story Writers Since World War II: Fifth Series. Ed. Richard E. Lee and Patrick Meanor. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 335. [2]

External links

  • Christopher Cox (Spring 2009). "Annie Proulx, The Art of Fiction No. 199". The Paris Review.
  • Books That Changed My Life PEN World Voices at the New York Public Library May 4, 2008
  • An Interview with Annie Proulx, Bookslut, December 2005.
  • Interview with Annie Proulx in the Fall 2005 Wyoming Library Roundup (PDF 3.69 MB)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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