Tuesday 27 January 2015
Cake and roses this week and with them, we read the work of two great contemporary women writers – Annie Proulx and Susan Wicks.
Annie Proulx has written eight books, including the novels The Shipping News and Accordian Crimes. She has won the Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. She has worked as a journalist and is an early environmentalist. Her work is deeply rooted in landscape: www.theguardian.com/books/2004
She lived in Wyoming for many years but is now based in Seattle.
We looked at “The Blood Bay” which also first appeared in The New Yorker magazine on December 28 1998 and was collected in Close Range: Wyoming Stories, the book of short stories published in 1999 which also features “Brokeback Mountain”. Close Range is available from Simon and Schuster.
Susan Wicks has written six collections of poetry, two novels (one, The Key, was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour), a memoir, Driving My Father (Faber, 1995 and Basic Books, 1996), a collection of stories, Roll Up for the Arabian Derby (bluechrome, 2009) and a novel-in-stories, A Place to Stop, (Salt).
Her first poetry collection, Singing Underwater (Faber, 1992) won the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize, as well as being a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her second, Open Diagnosis (Faber, 1994) was one of the Poetry Society’s ‘New Generation Poets’ titles. Her third, The Clever Daughter (Faber, 1997), was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes.
We read ‘Pistachios’ the first poem in her most recent collection, House of Tongues (Bloodaxe, 2011), which is also a PBS Recommendation.
Links to work by Proulx and Wicks, online interviews and biographical information are on the Texts page of this blog.