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Main page » Fiction literature » Annie Proulx - The Shipping News

Annie Proulx - The Shipping News


Annie Proulx - The Shipping News
Scribner | ISBN-10: 0671510053 | Edition - 1994 | doc | 1.2 MB

Annie Proulxs second novel, The Shipping News, was published in 1994, and it remains her best known and most highly acclaimed novel to date. It won the National Book Award for Fiction, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was also made into a film. The book tells the story of Quoyle, an anti-hero who moves from New York to Newfoundland in search of his family roots and inner peace, and who against the odds does achieve some measure of success and happiness. Along the way, he meets a large cast of oddly-named eccentric characters, overcomes his fear of water and his crippling sense of insecurity, while also finding a job that he enjoys for the first time, not to mention tasting local delicacies like seal-flipper pie. Despite the fairy-tale elements in Proulxs narrative of Quoyles journey to a new life, her protagonist remains overweight, unattractive and socially awkward, so that his transformation never descends to the level of clich or implausibility. Like most of Proulxs fiction, The Shipping news is narrated in the third person, with the narrator zooming in and out of the main characters subjectivity. On a first reading, the narrative appears elliptical and enigmatic, but a second reading reveals a carefully constructed plot whose chapters and sub-sections can be viewed as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: they are all there, but it is up to the reader to arrange them in the order that produces a fuller picture. The uncertainty that the first-time reader experiences, before he or she even knows that the book is made up of pieces which can be re-assembled, mirrors the gropings, hesitations, disappointments and false starts that Quoyle himself has to endure as he attempts to rebuild his broken life.

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Tags: Fiction, Shipping, novel, Proulx, Prize