Annie Proulx

Edna Ann Proulx (/ˈpr/; born August 22, 1935) is an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. She has written most frequently as Annie Proulx but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. Proulx.[1]

Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx at the 2018 U.S. National Book Festival
BornEdna Ann Proulx
(1935-08-22) August 22, 1935
Norwich, Connecticut, United States
Pen nameE. Annie Proulx, E.A. Proulx
Alma materUniversity of Vermont
Sir George Williams University
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Fiction
1994 The Shipping News

She won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her first novel, Postcards. Her second novel, The Shipping News (1993), won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction[2] and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction[3] 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.

Personal life

Proulx was born Edna Ann Proulx in Norwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Lois Nellie (Gill) and George Napoleon Proulx.[4] Her first name honored one of her mother's aunts. She is of English and French-Canadian ancestry.[5][6] Her maternal forebears came to America fifteen years after the Mayflower, in 1635.[7] 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[8] and pursued, but did not complete, a Ph.D. In 1999, Concordia awarded her an honorary doctorate.[9]

Proulx lived for more than 30 years in Vermont, has married and divorced three times, and has three sons and a daughter (named Jonathan, Gillis, Morgan, and Sylvia). 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 Port Townsend, Washington.[10]

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".[11] Another contender, a year later, was a science fiction story called "All the Pretty Little Horses", which appeared in teen magazine Seventeen in June 1964. 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.[12]

In 1997, Annie Proulx was awarded the Dos Passos Prize, a mid-career award for American writers. 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.[13][14]

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. It was praised for an often brilliant adaptation that clearly conveyed the text of the libretto with music that is rich in imagination and variety.[15][16][17][18][19] In 2017 she received the Fitzgerald Award for that year for Achievement in American Literature.[20]



  • Great grapes : grow the best ever. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications. 1980. ISBN 9780882662282.
  • Proulx, Annie; Nichols, Lew (1980). Sweet & hard cider : making it, using it, & enjoying it. Charlotte, Vermont: Garden Way Publishing.
  • Making the Best Apple Cider. Storey Communications. 1983. ISBN 9780882662220.
  • 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
  • Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider. Storey Communications. 2003. ISBN 9781580175203.
  • Bird Cloud: A Memoir (2011), ISBN 978-0-7432-8880-4
  • Foreword (2018) In: Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates. Alethea Y. Steingisser, Emilene Ostlind, Hall Sawyer, James E. Meacham, Matthew J. Kauffman, and William J. Rudd (Eds.).ISBN 978-0870719431


Short fiction



Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
Rough deeds 2013 Proulx, Annie (June 10–17, 2013). "Rough deeds". The New Yorker. 89 (17): 56–61.
A resolute man 2016 Proulx, Annie (March 21, 2016). "A resolute man". The New Yorker. 92 (6): 76–85.

Awards and Republications

Film adaptations


  1. "Library of Congress Name Authorities: Proulx, Annie". Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  2. "Fiction". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  3. "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.)
  4. NNDB
  5. 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.
  6. Annie Proulx. (2013). In J. W. Hunter (Ed.), Contemporary Literary Criticism (Vol. 331). Detroit: Gale.
  7. Jukka Petäjä, Maisema on ihmisen kehys ja varjo, Helsingin Sanomat, October 26, 2011, p. C4. (in Finnish)
  8. "Annie Proulx". Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  9. "Honorary Degree Citation - Annie Proulx | Concordia University Archives". Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  10. WOOLFE, ZACHARY (January 26, 2014). "Love That Dare Not Sing Its Name". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  11. "The Customs Lounge in If, Volume 13 No 4, September 1963 – E. Annie Proulx". Retrieved March 18, 2007.
  12. "Facts & Fiction – 97.11.12". (subscription only) The Atlantic Monthly. November 12, 1997.
  13. Myers, B. R. (July–August 2001). "A Reader's Manifesto". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  14. Campbell, Duncan (August 16, 2001). "Critic savages 'pretentious' US literati". The Guardian. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
  15. Wise, Brian. "'Brokeback Mountain' Opera: The Critics Weigh In". Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  16. William Jeffery, "Brokeback Mountain Opera Receives World Premiere", Limelight Magazine (30 January 2014).
  17. Westphal, Matthew (27 September 2007). "'Gay 12-Tone Cowboys' - Composer Charles Wuorinen Plans Opera Version of Brokeback Mountain". Playbill. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  18. "Opera: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Teatro Real;". October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  19. Anthony Tommasini (January 29, 2014). "Operatic Cowboys in Love, Onstage". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  20. F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival
  21. "Heart songs / E. Annie Proulx". Catalogue. National Library of Australia.
  22. Book World Editors (May 3, 2018). "Annie Proulx wins Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  23. United States Artists Official Website

Further reading

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