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Annie Proulx, Award-winning Novelist

Updated on October 2, 2014

Annie Proulx, Talented Writer

E. Annie Proulx is a New Englander who has adopted the West as her home. The Western landscape appears in much of her writing. She has written eight fiction books (four novels and four short story collections) and two nonfiction books.

Proulx lived in New England until later in life when she moved to Wyoming, and her stories all include place as a character. Her writing is raw and beautiful. Her last name is pronounced Pru.

Photo of the paperback book version of the short story Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. Courtesy of Amazon. Brokeback Mountain (Widescreen Edition)

Annie Proulx in 2008. Photo by dunedinpubliclibraries.
Annie Proulx in 2008. Photo by dunedinpubliclibraries.

Annie Proulx Biography

Edna Annie Proulx was born in 1935 in Connecticut and lived in New England, including Vermont and Maine, for much of her life. She moved to Wyoming in 1994 where she currently lives. According to a 1997 interview, "Imagination is Everything," with The Atlantic online, Proulx holds an M.A. from Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University.

Although she completed the coursework for a Ph.D. in European Economics, with a minor in traditional China, she did not write the thesis. Proulx began writing magazine articles before she wrote fiction. She has published essays and short stories in numerous national magazines including The New Yorker, Hungry Mind Review, and Organic Gardening.

Proulx advises writers to live awhile and get some experience under their belts before attempting to write. In The Atlantic online interview, Proulx said, "Spend some time living before you start writing. What I find to be very bad advice is the snappy little sentence, 'Write what you know.' It is the most tiresome and stupid advice that could possibly be given. ... We just coil tighter and tighter into our boring little selves. What one should write about is what interests one."

Photo Credit: Dunedin Public Library

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Bird Cloud, Annie Proulx's memoir published in 2011
Bird Cloud, Annie Proulx's memoir published in 2011

Annie Proulx's Books

- Sweet and Hard Cider: Making, Using, and Enjoying It, a nonfiction book written with Lew Nichols and originally published in 1980 as well as other assigned how-to books, according to

- Heart Songs and Other Stories, a book of short stories published in 1988

- Postcards, a novel published in 1992

- The Shipping News, a novel published in 1994

- Accordion Crimes, a novel published in 1996

- Close Range: Wyoming Stories, a collection of short stories including Brokeback Mountain, published in 1999

- That Old Ace in the Hole, a novel published in 2003

- Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2, a collection of short stories published in 2005

- Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3, a collection of short stories published in 2008

- Bird Cloud, a memoir, published in January 2011

Photo of Annie Proulx's book Bird Cloud courtesy of Amazon. Bird Cloud: A Memoir of Place

Wyoming Stories - Short Stories by Annie Proulx

Brokeback Mountain

Annie Proulx wrote the short story.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories is a collection of short stories, including Brokeback Mountain, which was made into a feature film in 2005 starring Heath Ledger and Jack Gylllenhaal. Screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana adapted the short story for the screen.

When asked is she knew growing up

that she wanted to be a writer,

Annie Proulx said:

"No. I never thought of myself as a writer. I only backed into it through having to make a living.

And then I discovered that I could actually do it. I thought there was some arcane fellowship

that you knew at birth that you had to belong

to in order to be a writer."

Source: The Paris Review

Annie Proulx's Nonfiction Books

Cider and Bird Cloud

Annie Proulx's first book, Cider: Making, Using, and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider, was published in 1980.

Proulx's memoir, Bird Cloud. was published in 2011. Bird Cloud is the name of her ranch in Wyoming. The book chronicles the building of the house, the hardship of living there in the winter, and her disappointment in general with the results.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Annie Proulx's Novels


The Shipping News, which was made into a movie starring Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench, and Julianne Moore

Accordian Crimes

That Old Ace in the Hole

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Awards for Annie Proulx

Proulx's first novel Postcards won the 1993 PEN/Faulkner Award.

The Shipping News, Proulx's second novel, was her first major writing success. The novel set in stark Newfoundland won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Heartland Award from the Chicago Tribune, and the International Fiction Prize from the Irish Times. The Shipping News was made into a major motion picture starring Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench, and Julianne Moore.

Proulx's next thrust into the limelight came when a 30-page short story tucked at the end of a collection of short stories was made into a movie. Brokeback Mountain, the movie, was based on the short story from Proulx's book Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The short story was originally published in The New Yorker and won a National Magazine Award. It also won an O. Henry Short Story Award in 1988. The movie Brokeback Mountain featured Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Please let us know you dropped by to read about Annie Proulx.

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      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I've not yet read anything written by Annie Proulx but a couple of titles here have me intrigued, especially The Shipping News and Bird Cloud.

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      bossypants 5 years ago

      I haven't read her books, but now I want to! Thanks for the insight into this author and her work.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      I've only read The Shipping News and just loved it. I've borrowed Accordian Crimes, so I'm looking forward to that. Heard an adaptation of Bird Cloud on BBC Radio 4 and it was fabulous. Even quite liked the film Brokeback Mountain. You could say I'm an Annie Proulx fan! Nice lens and many thanks for the pronunciation guide. Much needed.