Heart Songs And Other Stories

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Heart Songs And Other Stories

by Annie Proulx

Scribner | March 17, 1995 | Trade Paperback

Not yet rated | write a review
Before she wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx was already producing some of the finest short fiction in the country. Here are her collected stories, including two new works never before anthologized.
These stories reverberate with rural tradition, the rites of nature, and the rituals of small-town life. The country is blue-collar New England; the characters are native families and the dispossessed working class, whose heritage is challenged by the neorural bourgeoisie from the city; and the themes are as elemental as the landscape: revenge, malice, greed, passion. Told with skill and profundity and crafted by a master storyteller, these are lean, tough tales of an extraordinary place and its people.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.5 in

Published: March 17, 1995

Publisher: Scribner

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0020360754

ISBN - 13: 9780020360759

Found in: Fiction and Literature

save 64%

  • In stock online

$6.38  ea

Online Price

$17.00 List Price

or, Used from $4.99

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Heart Songs And Other Stories

by Annie Proulx

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.5 in

Published: March 17, 1995

Publisher: Scribner

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0020360754

ISBN - 13: 9780020360759

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 On the Antler Hawkheel''s face was as finely wrinkled as grass-dried linen, his thin back bent like a branch weighted with snow. He still spent most of his time in the field and on the streams, sweeter days than when he was that half-wild boy who ran panting up the muddy logging road, smashing branches to mute the receding roar of the school bus. Then he had hated books, had despised everything except the woods. But in the insomnia of old age he read half the night, the patinated words gliding under his eyes like a river coursing over polished stones: books on wild geese, nymph patterns for brook trout, wolves fanning across the snow. He went through his catalogues, putting red stars against the few books he could buy and black crosses like tiny grave markers against the rarities he would never be able to afford -- Halford''s Floating Flies and How to Dress Them, Lanman''s Haw-Ho-Noo, Phillips'' A Natural History of the Ducks with color plates as fine as if the wild waterfowl had been pressed like flowers between the pages. His trailer was on the north bank of the Feather River in the shadow of Antler Mountain. These few narrow acres were all that was left of the home place. He''d sold it off little by little since Josepha had left him, until he was down to the trailer, ten spongy acres of river bottom and his social security checks. Yet he thought this was the best part of his life. It was as if he''d come into flat water after half a century and more of running th
read more read less

Table of Contents


Contents

On the Antler

Stone City

Bedrock

A Run of Bad Luck

Heart Songs

The Unclouded Day

In the Pit

The Wer-Trout

Electric Arrows

A Country Killing

Negatives

From the Publisher

Before she wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx was already producing some of the finest short fiction in the country. Here are her collected stories, including two new works never before anthologized.
These stories reverberate with rural tradition, the rites of nature, and the rituals of small-town life. The country is blue-collar New England; the characters are native families and the dispossessed working class, whose heritage is challenged by the neorural bourgeoisie from the city; and the themes are as elemental as the landscape: revenge, malice, greed, passion. Told with skill and profundity and crafted by a master storyteller, these are lean, tough tales of an extraordinary place and its people.

About the Author

E. Annie Proulx won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 1993 National Book Award for Fiction, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize for The Shipping News. Postcards, her first novel, won the 1993 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her articles and stories appear in many periodicals and anthologies. Ms. Proulx lives in Vermont and Newfoundland.

From Our Editors

The acclaimed debut collection of short stories--enhanced by two never-before-published works--by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News.

Editorial Reviews

Wendy Smith Cleveland Plain Dealer Proulx beautifully evokes the unchanging rhythms of country existence with a deep appreciation for life lived close to the earth....Her prose is supple, strong, and filled with striking images.

Bookclub Guide

Heart Songs and other stories

By Annie Proulx

Reading Group Discussion Guide

1. In "On the Antler" Hawkheel Leverd and Bill Stong play out their childhood rivalry in a series of exchanges involving antique books, food poisoning, and private hunting places. What is at the heart of their disagreement? What leads Hawkheel to destroy the valuable books he purchases from Stong?

2. "Even to the bastard descendants the Stones were predators" ("Stone City"). Discuss the legacy of the Stone family and its connection to Banger and his dog, Lady in How do the Stones continue to wreak havoc on the residents of Chopping County? What role does the fox narrative play in this tale?

3. "Bedrock" explores the relationship between Perley and his second wife, Maureen. How do Maureen and her older brother, Bobhot, enter Perley''s life? How does Perley''s interaction with Maureen as a young girl relate to her mistreatment of him in their marriage?

4. "A Run of Bad Luck" explores the emotional undercurrents between family members about to go hunting. Discuss the relationship between Haylett, and his son, Amando. What does their exchange about the road damages reveal? Later, how does Haylett try to protect Amando, and what do his efforts suggest about his feelings for his son?

5. How do Snipe''s encounters with the Twilights in "Heart Songs" seem fated? When Snipe admits to himself that he doesn''t love Nell, but that "It had always been the truck in the weeds," what does he mean?

6. How do the hunting lessons that Santee gives Earl in "The Unclouded Day" hint at the tensions between old-time locals and moneyed newcomers? Why does Santee agree to teach Earl, and what does he get out of it? What does the end of the story suggest about Santee''s true feelings toward Earl?

7. Discuss the wrecked camp in "In the Pit"? What does the camp (and its missing toaster) symbolize to Blue? Does Blue''s behavior toward Mr. Fitzroy and Gilbert to recover his parents'' missing belongings seem justified? In light of his actions, how did you interpret Blue''s discovery at the end of the story?

8. What brings Rivers and Sauvage together in "The Wer-Trout"? How does fishing for giant trout in the Yellow Bogs separate them? Why does Rivers tell Sauvage the legend of the Wer-Trout, and what is its significance in this story?

9. In "Electric Arrows," what explains Mason''s contempt for his neighbors, the Moon-Azures? Why does their discovery of what they believe to be a native American petroglyph please Mason? How is their discovery related to Mason''s memories of his father and his father''s friend, Diamond, installing electricity in farms?

10. What explains Albro Sweet''s attraction to Rose Noury in "A Country Killing"? What does Simone Sweet''s reaction to the news of the murders suggest about her knowledge of her husband''s indiscretions? Did you interpret her reaction as proof of her involvement in the murders?

11. How does Albina Muth''s appearance on the scene change the relationship between Buck and Walter in "Negatives"? How does Walter''s photo session with Albina hint at exploitation? In what sense is that exploitation mutual?

12. Many of the stories in Heart Songs-including "Negatives," "The Wer-Trout," "Electric Arrows," "The Unclouded Day," and "Stone City"-examine the conflicts that arise between locals and new neighbors who are ignorant about the longstanding traditions of their community. Did this theme resonate for you? Did any of these stories portray this tension in a way that you found especially powerful? What themes does the title story Heart Songs carry through the other tales?

ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION

For musical inspiration prior to your discussion of "Heart Songs," check out The Anthology of American Folk Music from your local library. This cd anthology was drawn from the holdings of Harry Smith, a music lover who amassed an impressive collection of 78 rpm recordings by little-known American artists in the years prior to World War II. Visit http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/anthology/ to listen to recordings of folk songs by groups like The Twilights in Annie Proulx''s story.

In "Negatives," Walter''s interest in photographing people like Albina Muth is mockingly referred by Buck B. as an obsession with "The Rural Downtrodden." Many famous photographers have sought to capture the plight of the impoverished. Walker Evans, in his famous book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, took a series of realistic and revealing portraits of tenant families. Visit: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/fsa/gallery.html and discuss these images in the context of "Negatives."

Visit your local historical society or town hall to learn more about the family or families who founded your community. Or, seek out any memoirs or biographies written by people who played a part in settling your region. Try to find out if those families are still living in your town, and share your findings with the group. You might discuss whether there are any stories or legends associated with those families, and talk about those in the light of the story "Stone City."

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart