Proulx, E. Annie (Edna Annie Proulx), 1935-, American writer, b. Norwich, Conn., grad. Univ. of Vermont (B.A., 1969), Sir George Williams (now Concordia) Univ., Montreal (M.A., 1973). She was a journalist, wrote nonfiction articles for numerous publications, and was the author of several "how-to" books before beginning to write fiction in her 50s. Her stories and novels often feature barren landscapes, tough idiosyncratic characters, and a frequently bleak humor. Her first two volumes of fiction, Heart Songs and Other Stories (1988) and the novel Postcards (1992), won considerable critical praise. The Shipping News (1993), a novel that exhibits a superb sense of place and character, won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. It is set mainly in a desolate seaside community in Newfoundland and tells of a widowed father's attempt to create a home. After the novel Accordion Crimes (1996), Proulx, who had moved to Wyoming in 1995, turned to the American West as the setting and motif for three volumes of Wyoming stories, Close Range (1999), Bad Dirt (2004), and Fine Just the Way It Is (2008). In spare yet finely wrought prose, these tales observe the harsh and hardscrabble lives of Wyoming natives with shrewdness, wry humor, and tough-minded irony. Western themes also mark the novel That Old Ace in the Hole (2002), which is set in the Southwest.
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