Annie Proulx at the Frankfurt Book Fair, May 2009
|Born||Edna Annie Proulx
August 22, 1935
Norwich, Connecticut, United States
|Alma mater||University of Vermont|
|Notable award(s)||Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1994 The Shipping News
Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and was adapted as a 2001 film of the same name. Her short story Brokeback Mountain was adapted as an Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning major motion picture released in 2005. She won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her first novel, Postcards.
Proulx (born Edna Ann Proulx, her first name honoring one of her mother's aunts), was born in Norwich, Connecticut, to parents of English and French-Canadian ancestry. Her maternal forebears came to America fifteen years after the Mayflower, in 1635. She graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine, then attended Colby College "for a short period in the 1950s", where she met her first husband H. Ridgely Bullock, Jr. She later returned to college, studying at the University of Vermont from 1966 to 1969, and graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree in History in 1969. She earned her M.A. degree from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Quebec in 1973 and pursued, but did not complete, her Ph.D. degree.
Proulx lived for more than thirty years in Vermont, has married and divorced three times, and has three sons and a daughter (named Jonathan, Gillis, Morgan, and Sylvia, a.k.a. "Muffy"). In 1994, she moved to Saratoga, Wyoming, spending part of the year in northern Newfoundland on a small cove adjacent to L'Anse aux Meadows. Proulx now lives in Seattle, Washington.
Proulx has four sisters: twins Joyce and Janet, who live in Louisiana and Florida respectively; Roberta, of Fairlee, Vermont, and Jude, another writer who lives in Wales.
Writing career and recognition
Starting as a journalist, her first published work of fiction is thought to be "The Customs Lounge", a science fiction story published in the September 1963 issue of If, under the byline "E.A. Proulx". Another contender, probably earlier, was a science fiction story called "All the Pretty Little Horses", which appeared in teen magazine "Seventeen" possibly a year or two before this. She subsequently published stories in Esquire magazine and Gray's Sporting Journal in the late 1970s, eventually publishing her first collection in 1988 and her first novel in 1992. Subsequently, she was awarded NEA (in 1992) and Guggenheim (in 1993) fellowships.
A few years after receiving much attention for The Shipping News, she had the following comment on her celebrity status:
It's not good for one's view of human nature, that's for sure. You begin to see, when invitations are coming from festivals and colleges to come read (for an hour for a hefty sum of money), that the institutions are head-hunting for trophy writers. Most don't particularly care about your writing or what you're trying to say. You're there as a human object, one that has won a prize. It gives you a very odd, ginger kind of sensation.
In 1997, Annie Proulx was awarded the Dos Passos Prize. Proulx has twice won the O. Henry Prize for the year's best short story. In 1998, she won for "Brokeback Mountain," which had appeared in The New Yorker on October 13, 1997. Proulx won again the following year for "The Mud Below," which appeared in The New Yorker June 22 and 29, 1999. Both appear in her 1999 collection of short stories, Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The lead story in this collection, entitled "The Half-Skinned Steer," was selected by author Garrison Keillor for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories 1998, (Proulx herself edited the 1997 edition of this series) and later by novelist John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century (1999). In 2001 Proulx was one of the writers heavily criticized by Brian Reynolds Myers in his polemical work A Reader's Manifesto.
In 2007, the composer Charles Wuorinen approached Proulx with the idea of turning her short story "Brokeback Mountain" into an opera. The opera of the same name with a libretto by Proulx herself premiered January 28, 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid to mixed reviews.
- Sweet and Hard Cider: Making It, Using It and Enjoying It (1980; with Lew Nichols), ISBN 0-88266-242-2
- Plan and Make Your Own Fences & Gates, Walkways, Walls & Drives (1983), ISBN 0-87857-452-2
- The Gourmet Gardener: Growing Choice Fruits and Vegetables with Spectacular Results (1987), ISBN 0-449-90227-7
- Bird Cloud: A Memoir (2011), ISBN 978-0-7432-8880-4
- Novels and short story collections
- Heart Songs and Other Stories (1988), ISBN 0-684-18717-5; republished with altered but similar content as trade paperback Heart Songs (1994) ISBN 1-86373-777-4
- Postcards (1992), ISBN 0-684-83368-9
- The Shipping News (1993), ISBN 0-684-85791-X
- Accordion Crimes (1996), ISBN 0-684-19548-8
- Close Range: Wyoming Stories (1999), ISBN 0-684-85222-5
- That Old Ace in the Hole (2002), ISBN 0-684-81307-6
- Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 (2004), ISBN 0-7432-5799-5
- Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3 (2008), ISBN 978-1-4165-7166-7
- Bark-Skins (2015)
- 2012— United States Artists Fellow award
- 2004—Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for "The Wamsutter Wolf"
- 2002—Best Foreign Language Novels of 2002 / Best American Novel Award, Chinese Publishing Association and Peoples' Literature Publishing House (That Old Ace in the Hole)
- 2000—WILLA Literary Award, Women Writing the West
- 2000—Borders Original Voices Award in Fiction (Close Range, Wyoming Stories)
- 2000—"People in Hell Just Want a Drink of Water," Best American Short Stories 2000
- 2000—English-Speaking Union's Ambassador Book Award (Close Range, Wyoming Stories)
- 2000—The New Yorker Book Award Best Fiction 1999 (Close Range, Wyoming Stories)
- 1999—"Half-Skinned Steer" inc. Best American Short Stories of the Century, ed. J. Updike
- 1999—"The Bunchgrass Edge of the World," The Best American Short Stories 1999
- 1999—"The Mud Below," O. Henry Awards Prize Stories 1999
- 1998—"Brokeback Mountain" National Magazine Award
- 1998—"Brokeback Mountain" inc. O. Henry Awards Prize Stories 1998
- 1998—"Half-Skinned Steer" inc. Best American Short Stories 1998
- 1997—John Dos Passos Prize for Literature (for body of work)
- 1997—Shortlisted for the 1997 Orange Prize (Accordion Crimes)
- 1994—Pulitzer Prize, Fiction (The Shipping News)
- 1993—National Book Award, Fiction (The Shipping News)
- 1993—Irish Times International Fiction Prize (The Shipping News)
- 1993—Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction (The Shipping News)
- 1993—PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (Postcards)
- The Shipping News (2001) was directed by Lasse Hallström and featured Kevin Spacey as the protagonist Quoyle, Judi Dench as Agnis Hamm and Julianne Moore as Wavey Prowse.
- Brokeback Mountain (2005), directed by Ang Lee and starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, was based on a story of the same name in Proulx's collection of short stories, Close Range.
- "Library of Congress Name Authorities: Proulx, Annie". Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Fiction". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- "National Book Awards – 1993". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
(With acceptance speech by Proulx and essays by Bob Shacochis and Mark Sarvas from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
- Hennessy, D. M. (2007). Annie Proulx. In R. E. Lee & P. Meanor (Eds.), Dictionary of Literary Biography: Vol. 335. American Short-Story Writers Since World War II. Detroit: Gale.
- Annie Proulx. (2013). In J. W. Hunter (Ed.), Contemporary Literary Criticism (Vol. 331). Detroit: Gale.
- Jukka Petäjä, Maisema on ihmisen kehys ja varjo, Helsingin Sanomat, October 26, 2011, p. C4. (Finnish)
- WOOLFE, ZACHARY (26 January 2014). "Love That Dare Not Sing Its Name". New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "The Customs Lounge in If, Volume 13 No 4, September 1963 – E. Annie Proulx". Retrieved 2007-03-18.
- "Facts & Fiction – 97.11.12". (subscription only) The Atlantic Monthly. November 12, 1997.
- Myers, B. R. (July–August 2001). "A Reader's Manifesto". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- Campbell, Duncan (August 16, 2001). "Critic savages 'pretentious' US literati". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- William Jeffery, "Brokeback Mountain Opera Receives World Premiere", Limelight Magazine (30 January 2014).
- Westphal, Matthew (27 September 2007). "'Gay 12-Tone Cowboys' - Composer Charles Wuorinen Plans Opera Version of Brokeback Mountain". Playbill. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Opera: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Teatro Real;". Teatro-Real.com. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- Anthony Tommasini (29 January 2014). "Operatic Cowboys in Love, Onstage". New York Times. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Heart songs / E. Annie Proulx". Catalogue. National Library of Australia.
- United States Artists Official Website
- "Annie Proulx." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2011. 
- Hennessy, Denis M. "Annie Proulx." American Short-Story Writers Since World War II: Fifth Series. Ed. Richard E. Lee and Patrick Meanor. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 335. 
- Christopher Cox (Spring 2009). "Annie Proulx, The Art of Fiction No. 199". The Paris Review.
- Books That Changed My Life PEN World Voices at the New York Public Library May 4, 2008
- Interview with Annie Proulx in the Fall 2005 Wyoming Library Roundup (PDF 3.69 MB)