Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Shipping News Study Guide." Course Hero. 31 Aug. 2017. Web. 14 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Shipping-News/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, August 31). The Shipping News Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Shipping-News/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Shipping News Study Guide." August 31, 2017. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Shipping-News/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Shipping News Study Guide," August 31, 2017, accessed November 14, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Shipping-News/.

E. Annie Proulx | Biography

Share
Share

E. Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut, on August 22, 1935. Her mother was a painter and her father worked in textiles. Around age 10, Proulx wrote her first short story. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1969 with a history degree. Moving to Canada to continue her education, she received a master's degree in history from Montreal's Concordia University (Sir George Williams University at the time) in 1973. After working two years toward a PhD in history, Proulx decided she preferred writing to an academic career and left to write full time.

The need to support her children also drove Proulx to leave her studies. According to Proulx, she married and divorced "too many times" and began her writing career as a single mother raising three sons. Proulx's three marriages and divorces may have influenced her writing. She says of her marriages: "I could not operate in a conventional family." In general, her plots do not dwell on lifelong romances or happy endings. More often, her writing touches on difficult personal situations, while her vivid geographical descriptions transform her settings into characters. Proulx's attention to regional and period-appropriate diction also breathes life into her characters.

After authoring a string of nonfiction books, she turned to short stories and her first collection, Heart Songs and Other Stories, was published in 1988. Her debut novel, Postcards, was published in 1992 and won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She was the first woman to receive this award. Proulx's second novel, The Shipping News, captured the 1993 National Book Award for Fiction and went on to win the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Proulx reportedly said she wrote The Shipping News in response to critics who claimed her other family novels were too dark. For this novel, she created a family story that ends more or less happily. In 1996 she published the novel, Accordion Crimes. Then, in 1997, "Brokeback Mountain" appeared in the New Yorker magazine and won an O. Henry Award. The short story was published as part of the collection Close Range: Wyoming Stories in 1999 and again as a standalone book in 2005, when it was also made into an Oscar-winning movie.

Additional Proulx works include:

  • That Old Ace in the Hole (2002)
  • Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 (2004)
  • Fine Just the Way It is: Wyoming Stories 3 (2008)
  • Barkskins (2016)
In 2011 she wrote a memoir called Bird Cloud that includes a story regarding her relocation to Wyoming in 1994 and the building of her Wyoming ranch in 2004. After 20 years in the state, Proulx left Wyoming for the Pacific Northwest.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Shipping News? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!