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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Pulitzer (the top American literary prize) prize-winning author of The Shipping News with a collection of short stories set in Wyoming. Every story is a stunner. Displaying wit, her knowledge of the West, of history, of ranching and farming, she outlines characters in a few strokes of robust language, folk who must use sheer will and courage to make it in such a tough territory. Her detail is meticulous, her prose lyrical and hard-hitting, her stories magical or bleak. In a word, they are brilliant.
Comparison: Carol Shields, Thomas Eidson, Louise Erdrich.
Similar this month: Douglas Coupland, Kate Atkinson.
Win tickets to the Borders Book Festival!
We have 4 tickets (2 pairs) to give away to one lucky winner to attend two Walter Scott Prize events taking place at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival on Saturday 17 June 2017. One pair of tickets is for a panel event with shortlisted authors, and the other is for the Prize event in which the winner is announced and presented. Click here to find out more about the Borders Book Festival.
Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 2 May 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 14 May 2017.
Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx
Bad Dirt is filled with the vivid and wilful characters for which Proulx has become so well known. Each occupies a community or landscape described in rich and robust language, with an eye for detail unparalleled in American fiction.
In ‘The Contest’, the men of Elk Tooth, Wyoming, vow to put aside their razors for two seasons and wait to see who has the longest beard come the 4th of July. Deb Sipple, the moving protagonist of ‘That Trickle Down Effect’, finds that his opportunism – and his smoking habit – lead to massive destruction. And ‘What Kind of Furniture Would Jesus Pick?’ is the story of Gilbert Wolfscale, whose rabid devotion to his ranch drives away his wife and sons.
Proulx displays her wit in every story of this stunning collection, as well as her knowledge of the West, of history, of ranching and farming. Her profound sympathy for characters who must use sheer will and courage to make it in tough territory makes this collection extraordinarily compelling.
‘Proulx writes in wonderful stews, everything thrown in together...the stories demand a second reading.' Daily Telegraph
'Her keen eye for idiosyncrasy ensures her continuing reputation as one of the shrewdest chroniclers of contemporary America.' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph
‘Vivid and evocative... as [the stories] gather force, you find yourself being drawn in to their momentum.' Financial Times
'Proulx['s]...stories, whose sour sometimes brutal folksiness gains a singular resonance from the fine, sinewy prose in which they are rendered.' The Times
‘Packed with grittily persuasive detail, they feel both modern and as timeless as the Wyoming plains.' Marie Claire 'Book of the Month'
'Performs inspired imaginative feats' Alex Clark, Sunday Times
About the Author
Publication date6th June 2005
More books by Annie Proulx
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