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Postcards Paperback – 23 May 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New edition edition (23 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006546684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006546689
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.1 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,551,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

The best simply got better. The first edition of this book was already quite simply the best introduction to psychoanalysis ever written and has been appropriately extremely popular with teachers and students alike. The thoroughly updated second edition retains all the powerful features of the first including its remarkable clarity and accessibility. The field will be greatly indebted to these authors for many years.
Professor Peter Fonagy
University College London

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'Postcards' is the story of Loyal Blood, a man who spends a lifetime on the run from a crime so terrible that it renders him forever incapable of touching a woman. The odyssey begins on a freezing Vermont hillside in 1944 and propels Blood across the American West for forty years. Denied love and unable to settle, he lives a hundred different lives: mining gold, growing beans, hunting fossils, trapping, prospecting for uranium and ranching. His only contact with his past is through a series of postcards he sends home – not realising that in his absence disaster has befallen his family, and their deep-rooted connection with the land has been severed with devastating consequences…

"The richness of America is portrayed with memorable effect in this remarkable first novel – Faulkner springs to mind. 'Postcards' is written from the heart and – for its raspy dialogue, laconic humour and beautiful description of the natural world – deserves to be widely read."
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

"'Postcards' is a remarkable novel; poetic and yet driven by a strong narrative, tragic and yet scored with deep veins of humour. Loyal Blood is one of those rare, haunted characters who continue to live in the mind after you finish the book. 'Postcards' is told in a resonant prose that both soars and gets down in the dirt – a debut which should be read by anyone who values fine, honest writing."
LITERARY REVIEW

"'Postcards' is a sweeping and dramatic tale. Proulx's deadpan style encompasses both heartbreak and hilarity, and the fantastic narrative flourishes are balanced with gritty realism. Not since Steinbeck has the migrant worker's life been so evocatively rendered."
DAILY TELEGRAPH


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Macfarlane on 18 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
"Postcards" is a darker work than Proulx's better known "The Shipping News" but all the hallmarks are there. The descriptions of nature are breathtaking, the dialogue acute, the control consummate. The author unerringly chooses the right phrase, or positions the right word just so. This is the work of a master water-colourist in prose. Without giving too much away, it is the story of two lost lives. The first occurs on page one but it is the chronicle of the second that forms the rest of the book, poor damaged Loyal sending back his postcards - loyal by nature as well as by name. While brother Dub gets rich and fat in real estate, Loyal battles against everything the elements can throw at him - rockfall, fire, snow - then picks himself up, tries again. The passing of the years and the changing of the times are beautifully and poignantly laid out, and I have to say that so unbearable did I find it at times that I could only manage to read some parts of the novel in short bursts. I haven't been so moved by a book in years as I have been by the story of Loyal Blood. Six stars out of five.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Feb 1999
Format: Paperback
About three years ago, I stumbled across Postcards in an airport bookstore, and I couldn't put it down for the 3 days that I was away from home. It is the only book I have ever read by Proulx, but the images from Postcards seem to be etched in my mind. Think of a favorite movie- and the scene or image that will never go away. That's what this book offers: vivid, emotional images. It's a book that I have always wanted to recommend to someone, the kind of book that makes me wish I was reading it for a literature class so that I could talk about it with others, analyze it, and truly appreciate it. It is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story. As I recall, an observation I had while reading Postcards was that Proulx was noticably sympathetic to her female characters - they seemed to be victims of circumstance - while her male characters were often the cause of their own undoing. This realization actually enhanced my enjoyment of the book, by making me conscious of the author and allowing a certain amount of disconnect from the characters- necessary to keep from getting too emotionally connected to these tragic characters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Oct 1997
Format: Paperback
I've always found my favourite writers follow the same three edicts: 1) Write the words as though you're driving the brain on a sight-seeing excursion, 2) Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, and 3) Repeat the above liberally.
I was introduced to E. Annie Proulx rather backwardly: I started with Accordion Crimes, then greedily devoured The Shipping News and finally Postcards. Postcards is a Gothic painting of the Blood family. Aptly named, this family begins the book with a foggy and orgasmic accidental death, which eventually and indirectly brings the Bloods to ruin. The Patriach and Matriach, Mink and Jewell Blood, are anything but luxurious contrary to their monikers. The kids provide their own mix of new despair combined with the old.
Definitely worth a read. Your dysfunctional family will look angelic in comparison.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Burn VINE VOICE on 28 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some people really do not like this book. Some have given it one star in a review, and others have complained that it does not stand up next to Proulx's much more famous "The Shipping News", yet I feel moved to come to its defence. This is Proulx's first novel, and, for those who do now know the storyline, it begins with the collapse of a family unit on a small farm and goes on to chart the progress (in inverted commas) of the members of that family across the geography and time of the United States in the 20th century.

The fiercest accusation levelled at this book is that it lacks a plot, and I would be inclined to agree, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, I often find that otherwise good books are spoiled by their plots, and many of my favourites have no plot at all. This is an episodic, thematic approach to writing, but one could argue that this is perhaps closer to how we experience the world than a meticulously planned thriller which leads you by the nose to its ravishing conclusion.

Proulx does take a gloomy view of the world in this book, but again that is to be applauded, but that places it in a very fine tradition of American writing (think of how relentlessly depressing "The Grapes of Wrath" is, and that book is twice as long as this). It is not perfect, and it needs to be read quickly for it not to become slightly tiresome, but it is a fine, and adventurous piece of fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb 1997
Format: Paperback
I haven't read anything like this before in my life. Much like Quoyle from E. Annie Proulx's pulitzer prize winning novel _The Shipping News_, the characters in _Postcards_are all tragically affectionate. Each member of the Blood family has his or her own hopeful view of their world--a world of hard work and conflict in the name of love and freedom--and I'm sure every reader can identify with some or all of their American family values. E. Annie Proulx writes with a style entirely her own that weaves itself inside and out of the lives of these characters and the western, southern, and northeastern settings they live in. In many unsuspecting places, _Postcards_ is laden with irony; for example, the character named Loyal Blood is perhaps the strongest in the novel but accidentally commits murder and spends his life drifting back and forth across the country. This novel spans generations and time zones, and likewise readers of all ages and from all places will love and hate the rich world of poverty and struggle inside _Postcards_.
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