Reviews in 200 Words

Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyoming Stories, by Annie Proulx

In Short Stories on April 23, 2009 at 3:42 am

Meet Chay Sump, Lightning Willy, Dixon Forkenbrocks, Hi Alcorn, Shaina Lister and the Devil. Annie Proulx’s characters are wild and creepy, poor and isolated. These are hard lives: they “saddle up, ride, rope, cut, herd, unsaddle, eat sleep and do it again.” Proulx’s humor is morbid and relentless. Laugh and cringe within a sentence. Many of these stories are timeless, fable-like tales that etch a skewed lesson deep into your skin. Proulx’s language is heavily clothed in description: you’ll taste the fried eggs and boiled potatoes; you’ll smell the sage and the trout and the whiskey. Pack your bags and prepare for this sometimes fantastical, sometimes nightmarish trip to the west. Meet these sad people and let them haunt you with their everyday lives. Proulx will reach up and grab you with each of these stories: then she’ll slap and shake you and force you to scream “uncle.”

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