Close Range

Close Range

Wyoming Stories

Book - 1999
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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 love. In "The Mud Below," a rodeo rider's obsession marks the deepening fissures between his family life and self-imposed isolation. In "The Half-Skinned Steer," an elderly fool drives west to the ranch he grew up on for his brother's funeral, and dies a mile from home. In "Brokeback Mountain," the difficult affair between two cowboys survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

These are stories of desperation, hard times, and unlikely elation, set in a landscape both brutal and magnificent. Enlivened by folk tales, flights of fancy, and details of ranch and rural work, they juxtapose Wyoming's traditional character and attitudes -- confrontation of tough problems, prejudice, persistence in the face of difficulty -- with the more benign values of the new west.

Stories in Close Range have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and GQ. They have been selected for the O. Henry Stories 1998 and The Best American Short Stories of the Century and have won the National Magazine Award for Fiction. This is work by an author writing at the peak of her craft.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Scribner,, [1999]
Copyright Date: ©1999
ISBN: 9780684852218
Branch Call Number: SS PROU
Characteristics: 283 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm


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Feb 05, 2018

The best collection of short stories I've ever read. Not one dud in the bunch. Great characters, great dialog , located in a fabulous and appropriate environment. These are not linear stories. They seem to grow out of that landscape.

Oct 22, 2015

I love a good short story, and I love stories of the western US. What a great book for me!
Proulx has a wonderful flavor to her writing, and her love for Wyoming rings through each story. Some tend to quirky, but the collection holds together well.
How interesting to read "Brokeback Mountain", the short story, so many years after the controversial movie was released. Proulx's original story is frank and sad in the telling.
Like short stories? Read these.
Like the American West? Ditto.

Jan 29, 2010

? ?Brokeback Mountain? in Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx, 2000, Scribner (Literary Fiction/ Historical Fiction/ Romance/ Short Stories)

Before ?Brokeback Mountain? was a critically acclaimed and controversial film from director Ang Lee, it was a small love story tucked in the pages of author Annie Proulx?s collection, Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The stories share a common setting?the big sky open country of Wyoming?and have common themes of love, family, and emotional survival as well. But ?Brokeback Mountain? is certainly one of the more memorable tales. Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar are roughnecks, country boys brought up through hard work to expect a life of more of the same. When they meet on a job one summer in 1963, herding sheep up and down Brokeback Mountain, they don?t expect to fall in love?and certainly not with each other. But when a sudden, almost wordless passion overwhelms them, Jack and Ennis welcome a chance at real human connection. After their summer fling, the cowboys return to their separate lives and as the years pass, those lives include steady jobs, wives, and children. These scenes of traditional domesticity are forever disturbed when Jack and Ennis reunite and rekindle what becomes a twenty-year love affair. These twenty years, despite the closeness Jack and Ennis share, are not easy?for the couple, for their families, or for the reader. Proulx?s terse, straight-forward prose is ideally suited to conveying the pent-up pains and passions of these unbreakable men who know how they feel but haven?t the words, means, or opportunities to declare it. The Close Range collection was named one of Library Journal?s Best Books of the year and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (which Proulx won in 1993 for her novel The Shipping News); ?Brokeback Mountain? was singled out for an O. Henry Award and The New Yorker won a National Magazine Award for Fiction when it published the story first in 1998. The gender and orientation of the lovers in ?Brokeback Mountain? may be other than ordinary, but few can deny the heart-wrenching power of this simple country story.

wendybird Nov 13, 2009

I rarely get through a Proulx title without remarking, "man, how do you get to write like that?",This collection of gritty, near perfect tales elicits that same reaction. I can't think of anyone better at drawing the fine details of a particular region & its infinitely compelling "characters." This slim volume spawned an Academy Award winning film ("Brokeback Mountain"), and an O.Henry award, plus inclusion in John Updike's Best American Short Stories of the Century ("Half-Skinned Steer").

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 2000 Pulitzer prize for fiction.


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