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Biography E. Annie Proulx

2018 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

E. Annie Proulx is the author of the critically acclaimed novel “The Shipping News” and the short story “Brokeback Mountain.”

Proulx was born in Connecticut in 1935. She is the author of eight books, including “The Shipping News,” which received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize; and “Postcards,” winner of the PEN/Faulkner award—Proulx was the first woman to win the award.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden chose Proulx based on the recommendation of a jury of previous winners, distinguished authors and prominent literary critics from around the world. Of the selection, Hayden said, “E. Annie Proulx has given us monumental sagas and keen-eyed, skillfully wrought stories. Throughout her writing, she succeeds in capturing the wild, woolly heart of America, from its screwball wit to its every last detail. She is an American original.”

“This high honor came as a shock to me,” Proulx said. “My writing has examined the lives of unimportant people—poor people plagued with bad luck, financial and personal troubles. […] I want to believe the people in my writing will step up with me to receive this award, for they are as real as history.”

Proulx’s other honors include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, the National Book Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her O. Henry Prize-winning story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent novel is “Barkskins.”

Selected Works at the Library of Congress