Bird Cloud

A Memoir

By Annie Proulx
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9780743288804, 256pp.)

Publication Date: January 4, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2011 Indie Next List
“Annie Proulx, one of America's best-loved authors, shares her adventures of moving from the East Coast to Wyoming, finding a 640-acre property, and beginning to build the perfect home. Situated at the foot of a 400-foot cliff, the scenery is breathtaking and filled with wildlife: eagles, mountain lions, herons, elk, deer, and antelope. Her home was planned to be 'a wooden poem,' and Proulx's experience of building what came to be called 'Bird Cloud' will keep you engrossed through writing that is both riveting and revelatory.”
-- Lillian Kinsey, The Morris Book Shop, Lexington, KY


Description

“Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen.

Proulx’s first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house—with its solar panels, Japanese soak tub, concrete floor and elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets. It is also an enthralling natural history and archaeology of the region—inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho and Shoshone Indians— and a family history, going back to nineteenth-century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.

Proulx, a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and compassion, here turns her lens on herself. We understand how she came to be living in a house surrounded by wilderness, with shelves for thousands of books and long worktables on which to heap manuscripts, research materials and maps, and how she came to be one of the great American writers of her time. Bird Cloud is magnificent.




About the Author

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a 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. Her most recent book is Fine Just the Way It Is. She lives in Wyoming.

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