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E. Annie Proulx, Postcards (Touchstone, 1994).
A story of the Blood family, who scrape by on the family’s farm in Vermont. A son, Loyal Blood, kills his lover, and flees. For four decades in exile, Loyal roams from job to job and state to state, while the rest of the family perseveres back home, but they all share loneliness and life on the margin. Many of the postcards reproduced at the opening of chapters, complete with franking and address, are those he sends back to his family. This was Proulx’s first novel, before she became known for The Shipping News and the story, “Brokeback Mountain.”
Sara Rimer profiled Proulx after the success of The Shipping News. Aida Edemariam profiled her for the Guardian a decade later. David Bradley reviewed it for The New York Times. Gingerburn comes to its defence. Here is a quiet recommendation from mister anchovy. Christ-topher calls it a tale of molasses-paced loneliness and estrangement. The book won the 1993 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.