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The Shipping News Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Concurrent with life in such a place is a certain xenophobia. Part pride, part fear, it tends to rear its head when someone from "away" decides to tell us about ourselves.
Annie Proulx is a "come-from-away", an outsider who came and settled for a time in Newfoundland, then went away and brought forth "The Shipping News".
By that time I'd moved off the island, like so many of my fellow Newfoundlanders. I left by choice to pursue a career opportunity, but it was still a wrenching experience. Thousands of others have had no choice but to leave, with the collapse of the fishery and the ensuing economic hardships. For them, leaving Newfoundland is a heart-breaking decision, because their loyalty to family and to the place is as fierce as a November gale.
A few years after I heard about a curious new novel written by an American and set in Newfoundland. So I read it.
As Quoyle made his inexorable if apprehensive way to Newfoundland I found myself wondering whether I would recognize Annie Proulx's version of my native province.
Not only did I recognize it, I came to know it better. She had found the poetry of the place, the brutal indifference of sea and stone, the soft light and the muffling fog. And the voices of the people.
Not a word rang false.
"The Shipping News" is rich in atmosphere, populated by people I know. It is a work fine in its observation and true in its telling. It's what Newfoundlanders would call a "fine yarn".
As Quoyle and Agnis become friends with their fiercely independent and often quirky neighbors, their own pasts gradually unfold for the reader, and as they face the stark challenges of their new lives in wintery Newfoundland, they begin to understand more fully who they are and to recognize what is important in their lives. As Quoyle, who is still coming to terms with the death of his flagrantly unfaithful wife, Petal Bear, gains respect from his colleagues for his work at the paper and from his neighbors for his strength of character, he also begins to gain some self-respect. Agnis's departure from Newfoundland many years ago was the result of a terrible trauma, and upon her return she finds unique ways to put some of that trauma to rest.
Life in Killick Claw is often bleak, and its population must deal with violent storms, winters lasting six months, few connections to the outside world, and sudden death at sea, all of which Proulx describes in vivid and moving passages.Read more ›
Those readers expecting a nice little travelogue about life in Newfoundland should look elsewhere: "The Shipping News" fully depicts the tough life that people experience on that great expanse of rock, not sparing us from tales of abuse and incest. But Proulx also shows how people in those same small communities do come together when needed and that the bonds of friendship are at times stronger than the bloodlines of family.
For those who only know Proulx from "Brokeback Mountain", this book will further acquaint them with her unique writing style and depictions of the "have nots" of society. Once you are deep enough into Quoyle's story, the pages fly by and I finished this book wishing it had been even longer. A one of a kind read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why didn't i know about Annie Proulx until now? I finished The Shipping News last week and immediately ordered Postcards which I am reading now. (2016). Read morePublished 7 days ago by Jean Cole
Loved this book! The first that I have read of Annie Proulx. I will read more of this author for sure!Published 10 days ago by Shell Lady
Proulx can write!! At least as far as this book goes. I've seen a few reviews that mentioned this one as a bunch of nowhere nobodies doing nothing essentially. Read morePublished 24 days ago by G. Branch
It held my attention because it was about a place in time that I knew nothing about. The ending was a bit abrupt.Published 1 month ago by Christel I Sanders
Unique writing style - required a bit of discipline for me in the beginning get to absorb it all. But about a third of the way into the book, Proulx's broken, descriptive... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Hoffman