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Heart Songs Paperback – 1 Oct 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; (Reissue) edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857024044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857024043
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Annie Proulx's The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She is the author of two other novels: Postcards, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Accordion Crimes. She has also written two collections of short stories, Heart Songs and Other Stories and Close Range. In 2001, The Shipping News was made into a major motion picture. Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland.

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Review

‘Proulx is at home in natural surroundings; her gift for description is both taut and unlavish and she shows the true countryman’s respect for hunter and hunted alike. Her people are alive; the domestic detail as sharply defined as in a Dutch genre painting.’ Evening Standard

‘The distinguishing ingredient that makes Proulx such a tonic is her passion for language…Her descriptive skill is both intriguing and economical.’ Independent on Sunday

‘Proulx’s descriptive power is such that when you’re not laughing or cringing, you're gasping with envy.’ Independent

‘Proulx’s prose is monumental.’ Observer

‘America’s most impressive new novelist…matchlessly capturing the rewards and rigours of life in the rural remoteness of America’s far north-east, the stories in “Heart Songs” focus on characters almost elementally close to harsh landscapes and hard ways of life.’ Sunday Times

About the Author

Annie Proulx published her first novel ‘Postcards’ in 1991 at the age of 56. ‘The Shipping News’ won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Prize. Her third novel, ‘Accordion Crimes’, was published in 1996. She is also the author of three short-story collections, ‘Heart Songs’ (1994), ‘Close Range’ (1999) and ‘Bad Dirt’ (2004). ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was made into an Oscar-winning film in 2005. ‘Fine Just the Way It Is’, her third collection of Wyoming short stories, was published in 2008.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Murphy VINE VOICE on 29 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Excellent collection of short stories by one of the very best short story writers, set in a rural community where life is hard for Proulx's people struggling to eke out a living. Tough, gritty stories focussing for the most part on hunting and fishing, activities that give full play to the author's gift for capturing the rugged, rural landscape in all its moods and also provide an unusual backdrop for the human dramas played out. Revenge, ill-will, greed, infidelity, passion and jealously, violence and death are all strong presences in these stringent stories so don't be misled by the tame hunting and fishing reference. Annie Proulx creates a cast of vivid characters - eccentric, downtrodden, down and out, malicious and conniving - bringing them alive in the space of a striking image or phrase!

A strong theme threading through several stories is the clash of values of two very different worlds: big-city hobbyists with ready money who show up in the country sporting their flash hunting gear and their brand new boots - their rifles shiny and new, just like their cars - bringing unwelcome improvements impinging on the land, customs and traditions of the poor rural community, the actions of the outsiders often appearing naïve, clumsy, even foolish. My personal favourite is Stone City: a hunter stumbles on a remote, derelict farm high up on the snow-covered wooded hillsides but senses an atmosphere of evil pervading the abandoned ruin, Stone City, once owned by the Stone family, old man Stone and his brood of wild, unruly offsprings. Gradually, more shocking revelations about the Stones and the grim past of Stone City come to light. Try also Annie Proulx's other superb short story collection of Wyoming stories, Close Range. Both books highly recommended!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
Having read all her books, the Shipping News being the best, all I can say is that time and again she draws me deep into her world and leaves me breathless and wanting more. Her prose put some more famous authors to shame. As a woman writing mainly about men she appears to know me better than i know myself. Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V. Westerman on 17 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As usual, riveting reading. Reading Annie Proulx is like witnessing close-up personal disasters, it is emotional in a savage way, you worry about the characters and when things get really bad you feel you should 'look away' to spare them, but as in real life, you can't!
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