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The stories in Annie Proulx's new collection are peopled by characters who struggle with circumstances beyond their control in a kind of rural noir half-light. Trouble comes at them from unexpected angles, and they will themselves through it, hardheaded and resourceful. Bound by the land and by custom, they inhabit worlds that are often isolated, dangerous, and in Proulx's bold prose, stunningly vivid.
In "What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?" rancher Gilbert Wolfscale, alienated from his sons, bewildered by his criminal ex-wife, gets shoved down his throat the fact that the old-style ranch life has gone. Several stories concern the eccentric denizens of Elk Tooth, a tiny hamlet where life revolves around three bars. Elk Toothers enter beard-growing contests, scrape together a living hauling hay, catch poachers in unorthodox ways. "Man Crawling out of Trees" is about urban newcomers from the east and their discovery, too late, that one of them has violated the deepest ethics of the place. Above all, these stories are about the compelling lives of rapidly disappearing rural Americans.
Through Proulx's knowledge of the history of Wyoming and the west, her interest in landscape and place, and her sympathy for the sheer will it takes to survive, we see the seared heart of the tough people who live in the emptiest state. Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and many other prizes, has written a collection of spectacularly satisfying stories.
Published: Scribner on Nov 30, 2004
ISBN: 9780743273480
List price: $8.99
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my best frends mum just got a nearly new Mazda MAZDA3 Hatchback only from working part-time off a pc at home... go to this web-site >> T­­­­­­­i­­­­­­­m­­­­­­­e­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­J­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­b­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­3­­­­­­­4­­­­­­.c­­­­o­­­­mread more
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Great writing, even if I can hardly stand to read collections of short stories.read more
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You know what this reminded me of? The stories of Herman Charles Bosman. He wrote about life in small outposts in the South African veld in the 1930s. There's the same dry humour - the beard-growing competition is a good example - but there's also the same stories of isolation and drought and small-town feuding.read more
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my best frends mum just got a nearly new Mazda MAZDA3 Hatchback only from working part-time off a pc at home... go to this web-site >> T­­­­­­­i­­­­­­­m­­­­­­­e­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­J­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­b­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­3­­­­­­­4­­­­­­.c­­­­o­­­­m
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great writing, even if I can hardly stand to read collections of short stories.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
You know what this reminded me of? The stories of Herman Charles Bosman. He wrote about life in small outposts in the South African veld in the 1930s. There's the same dry humour - the beard-growing competition is a good example - but there's also the same stories of isolation and drought and small-town feuding.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Annie Proulx is a very good writer. The plots and characters in these short stories seem like nothing but real and true and inevitable-- as if you're reading about them in a newspaper.
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Annie Proulx's stories are about people whose lives aren't quite under control through no fault of their own. The bittersweet in life, mixed with the all to human foibles of her characters can add up to some painfully amusing stories. Her turn of phrase and her choice of scenes is spot on.
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Annie Proulx writes so sharply that she defines her characters with what feels like a razor's edge.

This isn't a collection of happy stories about a West that never existed; it's a collection of taut essays about a hardscrabble life. Excellent writing, if not always the easiest stuff to read.
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