The Shipping News
by E. Annie Proulx
"This darkly comic, wonderfully inventive work, winner of the 1993 National Book Award, transforms the lore of Newfoundland--including shipwrecks, nautical knot-tying, horrid weather and family legend--into brilliant literary art. It is the story of the rebirth of Quoyle, a hulking, inarticulate, misery-ridden widower who flees upstate New York to take up residence in Newfoundland. The island of his forebears, Newfoundland is a dreary rock in the north Atlantic beset by lousy weather. Proulx lovingly recreates this hardscrabble location in her vivid, distinctive prose and populates it with a cast of amusing, richly human characters. Quoyle, a "third-rate newspaperman," makes a hit with his "Shipping News" column, while his anguish at the loss of his faithless wife is slowly transformed by the strengthening ties that bind him to the place and to his fellow Newfoundlanders." - Amazon review
Annie Proulx's book is a story of a man with a woman's sensibilities. I was fascinated and horrified at the same time. Something in my genetic memory, no doubt. I'm sure that, besides all the rich and famous ancestors I've been told about, there must have also been some Scottish pirates Proulx describes who lured the ships onto the rocks in Newfoundland. - Jim Buckley
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