Annie Proulx-I love you

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illustrator: J Byron Schachner

 

It’s the birthday of novelist and short-story writer Annie Proulx, born Edna Ann Proulx in Norwich, Connecticut (1935).

She said, “Spend some time living before you start writing.”
Proulx was in her 50s when she started writing fiction; her first book was a collection of short stories, Heart Songs (1988).

When her editor drew up the contract, he asked if he could put in a clause that she might someday write a novel. She said: “I just laughed madly, had not a clue about writing a novel, or even the faintest desire. I thought of myself as a short-story writer. Period, period, period.” Five years later, her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Her books include Accordion Crimes (1996), Close Range: Wyoming Stories (1999), Bird Cloud: A Memoir (2011), and Barkskins (2016).
She said: “What I find to be very bad advice is the snappy little sentence,

‘Write what you know.’

It is the most tiresome and stupid advice that could possibly be given. If we write simply about what we know we never grow.”

 

When I read my Proulx books, my whole life slows down.

The depth of the writing and the feel of the images are soul touching.

Definition #393Finches

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grateful to finches

who morph with the seeds-merge with

the birds in the bush

Jonathan Weiner

won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (1986)

Definition #168 The Way We Live Now

Bob Marley by Ray Ferrer

Bob Marley
by Ray Ferrer

This Morning

by Jo McDougall

As I drive into town
the driver in front of me
runs a stop sign.
A pedestrian pulls down his cap.
A man comes out of his house
to sweep the steps.
Ordinariness
bright as raspberries.

I turn on the radio.
Somebody tells me
the day is sunny and warm.
A woman laughs

and my daughter steps out of the radio.
Grief spreads in my throat like strep.
I had forgotten, I was happy, I maybe
was humming “You Are My Lucky Star,”
a song I may have invented.
Sometimes a red geranium, a dog,
a stone
will carry me away.
But not for long.
Some memory or another of her
catches up with me and stands
like an old nun behind a desk,
ruler in hand.

“This Morning” by Jo McDougall from Dirt. © Autumn House Press, 2001. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Continental Drift by Russell Banks
His novel Continental Drift (1985) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and called by Atlantic reviewer James Atlas “the most convincing portrait I know of contemporary America: its greed, its uprootedness, its indifference to the past. This is a novel about the way we live now.”

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