Reviews in 200 Words

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

In Memoir on January 7, 2011 at 3:54 am

Meeting an author–especially one whom you admire–is more often than not, a huge disappointment: they’re fatter than you imagined, or shy when their writing’s not, or loud, or awkward, or annoying, or so full of themselves that you kind of wish they’d just pop. Authors are weird. Annie Proulx is weird; but also genuine. There’s something different about meeting Proulx–she’s in her stories. Meaning, everything is real: not true, but real. The land and the history, the animals and the smells and the harsh wind; they exist. She has the ability to put life into stories; and really, maybe that’s what fiction is: less invention and more construction. Proulx doesn’t have the most exciting story herself, but she’s met a lot of characters; she’s stayed herself, and sought out extreme conditions, and a little bit of crazy. These things all live in Wyoming. Knowing where this woman has come from–literally–helps to understand how she crafts the details of her stories. You don’t know what it’s like to dig a well until you’ve done it. You can’t imagine what winter really means until you’ve seen it on the Laramie plains.  

-Micah Ling

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