A highly acclaimed collection of short stories set in the great outdoors of New England, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Shipping News' and 'Brokeback Mountain'. Just outside town, beyond the drugstore and the diner, there's another world - a wilderness - waiting to be explored. On the high, wooded hillsides there are deer to be stalked; far upriver there are quiet pools of trout, and grouse to be shot and traplines to be laid for fur. In the far-flung settlements of New England, life revolves around hunting. Whether they are yuppies from the town who think that country life is improving or natives who know all too well that it isn't, the men and women of these stories are all hunting for something better - though getting by at all is hard enough. These are men and women who live, love and lose; men and women who fall apart and who pick up the pieces, who dream useless dreams and go on dreaming whatever the disappointments. Tough and tender and irresistibly humorous, this unforgettable book takes its reader on a trail through the great outdoors to the innermost places of the heart.
"Sharp, memorable, utterly original tales of life in rural New England." Esquire "Proulx is at home in natural surroundings; her gift for description is both taut and unlavish and she shows the true countryman's respect for hunter and hunted alike. Her people are alive; the domestic detail as sharply defined as in a Dutch genre painting.'" Evening Standard "The precision of Proulx's observation has a large value that implies an entire culture." Financial Times "The distinguishing ingredient that makes Proulx such a tonic is her passion for language...Her descriptive skill is both intriguing and economical." Independent on Sunday "The writing bristles with laconic insights." Independent "Proulx's descriptive power is such that when you're not laughing or cringing, you're gasping with envy." Independent "Proulx's prose is monumental." Observer "Proulx's feeling for the texture of place and characters is impeccable." Scotland on Sunday "America's most impressive new novelist... matchlessly capturing the rewards and rigours of life in the rural remoteness of America's far north-east, the stories in Heart Songs focus on characters almost elementally close to harsh landscapes and hard ways of life. Tough knowledgeableness about their circumstances goes along with a style that is elatingly fresh and crisp with sensuous delicacy." Sunday Times "The style of Heart Songs is a long-rythmed, almost majestic prose that can create images of perfect newness and accuracy...a polished, unflinching work." The Times "These are magnificent wrenching pieces." Vogue
Annie Proulx published her first novel 'Postcards' in 1991 at the age of 56. 'The Shipping News' won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Prize. Her third novel, 'Accordion Crimes', was published in 1996. She is also the author of three short-story collections, 'Heart Songs' (1994), 'Close Range' (1999) and 'Bad Dirt' (2004). 'Brokeback Mountain' was made into an Oscar-winning film in 2005. 'Fine Just the Way It Is', her third collection of Wyoming short stories, was published in 2008.