Close Range

By Annie Proulx,

Book cover of Close Range: Wyoming Stories

Book description

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes comes one of the most celebrated short story collections of our time.

Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in this collection of stories about loneliness, quick violence, and wrong kinds of…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Close Range as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Annie Proulx is a genius with character, and she’s obsessed with how hard humans work to uphold their myths of identity and achievement even when the odds are stacked against them. Close Range is the best of her three very good story collections about the West. It’s famous, and rightly so, for the trail-blazing tale of cowboy queerness "Brokeback Mountain". But each story is taut with observation and image. “The Mud Below,” “The Half-Skinned Steer”—there’s more than one American classic in this book. Some Westerners aren’t fans of Proulx, but I am. She doesn’t pull her punches about what it’s…

From Alyson's list on the West that twist the myth.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Shipping News, Annie Proulx is an engine of literary power with whom we engage in a breakneck ride to hell and back. In Close Range she follows traditional norms of Western masculinity and then deconstructs them and in fact explodes them so we can never see the American West in quite the same way again. Her stories set fire to a lone house on the plain. At night we watch the house burn with singular intensity until it burns down to nothing. Symbolic of how we must face and overcome our own…

In her short story collection Close Range, Proulx famously channels all sorts of male protagonists, including the gay cowboys of Brokeback Mountain. But "A Lonely Coast" is about a quartet of truck-driving, gun-carrying Wyoming gals whose Friday night out is about margaritas and buffalo wings at the Gold Buckle “while they read through the personal ads in the paper.” This is life and relationships at their most disposable and a story that’s forever.  

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