The Shipping News
|The Shipping News|
|Author(s)||E. Annie Proulx|
|Media type||Print (hardcover & paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-684-19337-X (first edition, hard)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 20|
|LC Classification||PS3566.R697 S4 1993|
The Shipping News is a novel by American author E. Annie Proulx, published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1993, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the U.S. National Book Award. It was adapted as a film of the same name, released in 2001.
Plot summary 
The story centers on Quoyle, a newspaper pressroom worker from upstate New York whose father emigrated from Newfoundland. Shortly after his parents' suicide, Quoyle's unfaithful and abusive wife Petal leaves town and attempts to sell their two daughters to sex traffickers. Soon thereafter, Petal and her lover are killed in a car accident; the young girls are located by police and returned to Quoyle. Despite his daughters' safe return, Quoyle's life is collapsing, and his paternal aunt, Agnis Hamm, convinces him to return to Newfoundland for a new beginning. They return to their ancestral home on Quoyle's Point.
He obtains work as a traffic accident reporter for the Gammy Bird, the local newspaper in Killick-Claw, a small town. The Gammy Bird's editor also asks him to document the shipping news, arrivals and departures from the local port, which soon grows into Quoyle's signature articles on boats of interest in the harbour.
Quoyle gradually makes friends within the community, learns about his own troubled family background, and begins a relationship with a local woman, Wavey. Quoyle's growth in confidence and emotional strength, as well as his ability to be comfortable in a loving relationship, become the book's main focus. Quoyle learns deep and disturbing secrets about his ancestors that emerge in strange ways. Though Quoyle struggles with feelings of being a sad excuse of a man, he manages to become more socially and financially secure in his new life.
Ashley's influence 
In her acknowledgments, Proulx states, "And without the inspiration of Clifford W. Ashley's wonderful 1944 work, The Ashley Book of Knots, which I had the good fortune to find at a yard sale for a quarter, this book would have remained just a thread of an idea." Ashley's illustrations and quotes are used at chapter headings throughout the book. Some names in the book are taken from knots, for example Killick hitch and coil. This coil is called a quoyle, the protagonist's name, a coil of rope only one layer thick, flat, "so that it may be walked on ..." This metaphor sums up Quoyle's relationship with the world around him in the novel's first half.
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1994
- National Book Award for Fiction, 1993
- The Irish Times International Fiction Prize, 1993
- The Marine award 1971.