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Title: The Shipping News
Author: Annie Proulx
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Shipping News is a celebration of Annie Proulx’s genius for storytelling and her vigorous contribution to the artwork of the novel. Quoyle, a third-rate newspaper hack, with a “head formed like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair…options as bunched as kissed fingertips,” is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing spouse meets her simply deserts. An aunt convinces Quoyle and his two emotionally disturbed daughters to return together with her to the starkly lovely coastal panorama of their ancestral house in Newfoundland. Here, on desolate Quoyle’s Point, in a home empty aside from a couple of mementos of the household’s unsavory previous, the battered members of three generations attempt to cobble up new lives. Newfoundland is a rustic of coast and cove the place the mercury hardly ever rises above 70 levels, the native culinary delicacy is cod cheeks, and it’s simpler to journey by boat and snowmobile than on something with wheels. In this harsh place of merciless storms, a collapsing fishery, and power unemployment, the aunt units up as a yacht upholsterer in close by Killick-Claw, and Quoyle finds a job reporting the transport information for the native weekly, the Gammy Bird (a paper that makes a speciality of sexual-abuse tales and grisly photographs of automotive accidents). As the lengthy winter closes its jaws of ice, every of the Quoyles confronts personal demons, reels from disaster to minor triumph — within the firm of the obsequious Mavis Bangs; Diddy Shovel the strongman; drowned Herald Prowse; cane-twirling Beety; Nutbeem, who steals international information from the radio; a demented cousin the aunt refuses to acknowledge; the much-zippered Alvin Yark; silent Wavey; and previous Billy Pretty, together with his bag of secrets and techniques. By the time of the spring storms Quoyle has realized the way to intestine cod, to flee from a pickle jar, and to tie a real lover’s knot.
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