Understanding Annie Proulx

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UNDERSTANDING ANNIE PROULX introduces readers to the writings of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for the novels Postcards, The Shipping News, and Accordion Crimes. In addition to examining the lyrical prose, wealth of detail, and distinctive characterization that have brought Proulx widespread praise, Karen L. Rood identifies and analyzes the novelist's primary thematic concern - the way ordinary people conduct their lives in the face of massive social, economic, and ecological change. Rood chronicles Proulx's childhood, development as a writer, and relatively late entry into fiction writing. (Proulx published her first story collection at the age of fifty-seven). Rood suggests that Proulx's early years served as a long and valuable apprenticeship for her mature fiction. In separate chapters Rood provides critical appraisals of Proulx's two short-story collections and three novels. She discusses how in these works Proulx warns her readers about the dire consequences, for both the globe and those inhabiting it, of the headlong rush toward modernization. She also traces Proulx's ambitious attempt to define American life in all its aspects, underlining the vast disparity between Americans' idealized vision of their past and the real history of violence and prejudice that has shaped the nation as it is today.

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University of South Carolina Press
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