The Shipping News :: Proulx E. Annie
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The Shipping News :: Proulx E. Annie
Аннотация: WINNER OF THE 1994 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE 1993 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE IRISH TIMES INTERNATIONAL FICTION PRIZE
Named one of the notable books of the year by The New York Times
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award
“Ms. Proulx blends Newfoundland argot, savage history, impressively diverse characters, fine descriptions of weather and scenery, and comic horseplay without ever lessening the reader’s interest.” – The Atlantic
“Vigorous, quirky… displays Ms. Proulx’s surreal humor and her zest for the strange foibles of humanity.” – Howard Norman, The New York Times Book Review
“An exciting, beautifully written novel of great feeling about hot people in the northern ice.” – Grace Paley
“The Shipping News … is a wildly comic, heart-thumping romance… Here is a novel that gives us a hero for our times.” – Sandra Scofield, The Washington Post Book World
“The reader is assaulted by a rich, down-in-the-dirt, up-in-the-skies prose full of portents, repetitions, hold metaphors, brusque dialogues and set pieces of great beauty.” – Nicci Gerrard, The Observer (London)
“A funny-tragic Gothic tale, with a speed boat of a plot, overflowing with Black-comic characters. But it’s also that contemporary rarity, a tale of redemption and healing, a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, and most rare of all perhaps, a sweet and tender romance.” – Sandra Gwynn, The Toronto Star
E. Annie Proulx
The Shipping News
For John, Gillis and Morgan
“In a knot of eight crossings, which is about the average-size knot,
there are 256 different ‘over-and-under’ arrangements
possible… Make only one change in this ‘over and under’
sequence and either an entirely different knot is made
or no knot at all may result.”
THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS
Help came from many directions in the writing of The Shipping News . I am grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for financial support, and to the Ucross Foundation of Wyoming for a quiet place to work. In Newfoundland, advice, commentary and information from many people helped me understand old ways and contemporary changes on The Rock. The Newfoundland wit and taste for conversation made the most casual encounters a pleasure. I am particularly grateful for the kindness and good company of Bella Hodge of Gunner’s Cove and Goose Bay who suffered dog bite on my account and showed me the delights of Newfoundland home cooking. Carolyn Lavers opened my eyes to the complexities and strengths of Newfoundland women, as did novelist Bill Gough in his 1984 Maud’s House . Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue personnel, the staff of the Northern Pen in St. Anthony, fishermen and loggers, the Atmospheric Environment Service of Environment Canada all told me how things worked. John Glusman’s fine-tuned antennae caught the names of Newfoundland books I would otherwise have missed. Walter Punch of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library confirmed some obscure horticultural references. Thanks also to travel companions on trips to Atlantic Canada: Tom Watkin, who battled wind, bears and mosquitoes; my son Morgan Lang who shared an April storm, icebergs and caribou. I am grateful for the advice and friendship of Abi Thomas. Barbara Grossman is the editor of my dreams-clear blue sky in the heaviest fog. And without the inspiration of Clifford W. Ashley’s wonderful 1944 work, The Ashley Book of Knots , which I had the good fortune to find at a yard sale for a quarter, this book would have remained just the thread of an idea.
Quoyle: A coil of rope.
“A Flemish flake is a spiral coil of one layer only.
It is made on deck, so that it may be
walked on if necessary.”
THE ASHLEY BOOK OF KNOTS
HERE is an account of a few years in the life of Quoyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in a shuffle of dreary upstate towns.
Hive-spangled, gut roaring with gas and cramp, he survived childhood; at the state university, hand clapped over his chin, he camouflaged torment with smiles and silence. Stumbled through his twenties and into his thirties learning to separate his feelings from his life, counting on nothing. He ate prodigiously, liked a ham knuckle, buttered spuds.
His jobs: distributor of vending machine candy, all-night clerk in a convenience store, a third-rate newspaperman. At thirty-six, bereft, brimming with grief and thwarted love, Quoyle steered away to Newfoundland, the rock that had generated his ancestors, a place he had never been nor thought to go.
A watery place. And Quoyle feared water, could not swim. Again and again the father had broken his clenched grip and thrown him into pools, brooks, lakes and surf. Quoyle knew the flavor of brack and waterweed.
From this youngest son’s failure to dog-paddle the father saw other failures multiply like an explosion of virulent cells-failure to speak clearly; failure to sit up straight; failure to get up in the morning; failure in attitude; failure in ambition and ability; indeed, in everything. His own failure.
Quoyle shambled, a head taller than any child around him, was soft. He knew it. “Ah, you lout,” said the father. But no pygmy himself. And brother Dick, the father’s favorite, pretended to throw up when Quoyle came into a room, hissed “Lardass, Snotface, Ugly Pig, Warthog, Stupid, Stinkbomb, Fart-tub, Greasebag,” pummeled and kicked until Quoyle curled, hands over head, sniveling, on the linoleum. All stemmed from Quoyle’s chief failure, a failure of normal appearance.
A great damp loaf of a body. At six he weighed eighty pounds. At sixteen he was buried under a casement of flesh. Head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair ruched back. Features as bunched as kissed fingertips. Eyes the color of plastic. The monstrous chin, a freakish shelf jutting from the lower face.
Some anomalous gene had fired up at the moment of his begetting as a single spark sometimes leaps from banked coals, had given him a giant’s chin. As a child he invented stratagems to deflect stares; a smile, downcast gaze, the right hand darting up to cover the chin.
His earliest sense of self was as a distant figure: there in the foreground was his family; here, at the limit of the far view, was he.
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