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Fine Just the Way It Is
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The fantastic new collection of stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of `The Shipping News' and `Brokeback Mountain'. `Fine Just The Way It Is' marks Annie Proulx's return to the Wyoming of `Brokeback Mountain' and the familiar cast of hardy, unsentimental prairie folk. The stories are cast over centuries, and capture the voices and lives of the settlers this sagebrushed and weatherworn country has known, from the native Indian tribes to the modern day ranch owners and politicians, and their cowboy forebears.In `A Family Man', an old man nearing the end of his life unburdens himself of the weighty family secrets that were his father's unwelcome legacy. `Them Old Cowboy Songs' follows Archie and Rosie, a young pioneer couple, and their hardships in their attempt to homestead in the exposed wintry expanses of the prairie, and `Testimony of the Donkey' finds a young international couple, Marc and Caitlin, struggling with much more modern concerns, and confronting uncertainty as their relationship comes to its end.These are stories of desperation and hard times, often marked by an inescapable sadness, 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. These are bold, elegant and memorable pieces, and once more confirm Annie Proulx as one of the most talented, unique short story writers in the language.
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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.

Reviews

Will Patten is a fine actor who fits voice and pace to the tone of each story in this collection. He is often a quiet, dreamy narrator, but when stories slowly navigate toward a terrible, heart-in-mouth tension-as Proulx's so often do-he assumes a breathiness that significantly heightens the drama. As tale-teller, Patten has a slight Western accent; this sounds right, but also enables him to use a range of dialects as appropriate for each character. In a more straightforward manner, he narrates Proulx's amusing (though less successful) tales of the Devil redesigning Hell. Proulx, best known for Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, turns out prose as exquisite as ever in her wrenching tales of Wyoming, past and present. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, May 26). (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

`Proulx is at her urgent, muscular best when elbow deep in the romance of hard souls and bittersweet lives. As a portraitist of the fearsome, awesome Wyoming landscape she is peerless. To read her descriptions of the West is to fall hopelessly and inescapable in love.' Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard `A sublimely good writer about landscape and the relationship of man to landscape...Proulx's brilliance is to hedge her hard comedy with tremendous tenderness ...These are meticulous, wonderfully actualised descriptions of small lives lived in a place that is lonely and unchanging, and heartbreakingly beautiful, and that is trying to kill you.' Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph `Like "Brokeback Mountain", it scrutinises and salutes the near-mute stoicism of people trapped in implacably adverse circumstances. And on the subject Proulx is incomparable.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Compressed, evocative prose conveys the sharp details of hard times in an unforgiving landscape.' Financial Times `This volume finely exhibits Proulx's distinctive skills' Sunday Times 'Despite their shared backdrop, these tales span cultures and centuries, depicting characters as diverse as a couple of young homesteaders trying to muddle through a harsh 18th century winter, and a woman raised by a '"trash rancher" returning home from Iraq. Nine in all, they vary exhilaratingly in pace, tone and length- in everything that is, but accomplishment.' Daily Mail

More Wyoming stories? Who could ask for anything more? Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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