Yesterday I bought Heart Songs by E. Annie Proulx from my local Oxfam. It’s a collection of short stories set in rural New England; “magnificent wrenching pieces”, says Vogue, apparently.
I loved the Pulitzer Prize winning The Shipping News – in fact it’s one of my favourite novels, written with a lyrical precision, like black bark on snow, and unsparingly humane. Proulx’s* prose carries the scent of both Hughes and McCarthy in its regard for the natural world; she shares with the former a sense of the implacable hostilty of the wild, and with the latter a weight and watchfulness.
I’ve read 70 pages of Heart Songs and don’t yet feel disappointed. Once I’ve finished I’ll be back.
*this can’t be right, can it? Ugly, ugly.