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Bad Dirt

by Annie Proulx

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Bad Dirt

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.

Sarah Broadhurst

Bad Dirt Synopsis

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.

Bad Dirt Press Reviews

‘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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007198870
Publication date: 06/06/2005
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007198870
Publication date: 6th June 2005
Author: Annie Proulx
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Short stories,

About Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honours include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story Brokeback Mountain, which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. She lives in Seattle

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