Fine Just the Way It Is by Annie Proulx
Wyoming Stories 3

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Synopsis

Returning to the territory of "Brokeback Mountain" (in her first volume of Wyoming Stories) and Bad Dirt (her second), National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx delivers a stunning and visceral new collection. In Fine Just the Way It Is, she has expanded the limits of the form. Her stories about multiple generations of Americans struggling through life in the West are a ferocious, dazzling panorama of American folly and fate.

"Every ranch...had lost a boy," thinks Dakotah Hicks as she drives through "the hammered red landscape" of Wyoming, "boys smiling, sure in their risks, healthy, tipped out of the current of life by liquor and acceleration, rodeo smashups, bad horses, deep irrigation ditches, high trestles, tractor rollovers and 'unloaded' guns. Her boy, too...The trip along this road was a roll call of grief."

Proulx's characters try to climb out of poverty and desperation but get cut down as if the land itself wanted their blood. Deeply sympathetic to the men and women fighting to survive in this harsh place, Proulx turns their lives into fiction with the power of myth -- and leaves the reader in awe.
The winner of two O. Henry Prizes, Annie Proulx has been anthologized in nearly every major collection of great American stories. Her bold, inimitable language, her exhilarating eye for detail and her dark sense of humor make this a profoundly compelling collection.
 

About Annie Proulx

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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.
 
Published September 9, 2008 by Scribner. 242 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fine Just the Way It Is

Kirkus Reviews

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Setting not only shapes but dwarfs the protagonists in the third collection of short stories by Proulx since her relocation to Wyoming.

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The New York Times

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In Annie Proulx’s new story collection, a young rancher about to build a cabin on his claim in the late-19th-century Wyoming wilderness walks the perimeter of his 80 acres singing old cowboy songs.

Sep 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

The Guardian

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Fine Just the Way it is: Wyoming Stories (Wyoming Stories 3) by Annie Proulx Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop This third volume of Wyo...

Nov 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

The Guardian

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I just can't hardly stand it - ' and he began to blubber 'feel like I been shot', pulling her into his arms, rolling half over so that the salty tears and his saliva wet her embroidered waist shirt, calling her his little birdeen, and at that moment she would have walked into a furnace for him."

Sep 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

The Guardian

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Annie Proulx has proved herself - with the unwieldy architecture of her novels Postcards and Accordion Crimes - to be something of a sucker for an over-ambitious structure.

Sep 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

Entertainment Weekly

The third volume of Annie Proulx's Wyoming Stories (after Close Range and Bad Dirt), Fine Just the Way It Is begins with ''Family Man,'' the recollections of a sour old ranch hand moldering in a nursing home, and ends with the staggeringly grim ''Tits-Up in a Ditch,'' the abbreviated biography...

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

The Telegraph

With its hint of defensive resignation, Fine Just the Way It Is is a fitting title for Proulx's latest rugged, yet sympathetic short-story collection.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

The Telegraph

"Deep-Blood-Greasy-Bowl" - inspired by a relic unearthed when Proulx's house was being built - describes a buffalo-drive, the same struggle two-and-a-half millennia previously.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

Tampa Bay Times

But then, for some of the characters in her new short story collection, Fine Just the Way It Is, the only difference between Hell and Wyoming is the scenery.

Sep 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

PopMatters

An abandoned daughter, raised by her reluctant grandparents, is starved for any kind of care or attention in her girlhood, but soldiers on—literally, when she sees the military as her only means of escaping the small Wyoming town that has treated her so indifferently.

Sep 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

Bookmarks Magazine

Colette Bancroft Seattle Times 3.5 of 5 Stars "The oddballs-out here are two stories about the Devil and his ‘demon secretary’ that allow Proulx to vent about human folly and venality in a slapdash way, but they feel more as though they’re script treatments for ‘South Park.’ They look a litt...

Sep 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

Oprah.com

But it is in the tour de force finale—in which Dakotah, a Wyoming girl sent off to Iraq, makes an odds-against stab at love and loses everything—that we see the method in Proulx's genius, where her enchanting description, unparalleled sentence structure, and unwavering insight combine to reveal b...

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Literary Review

'It's okay,' she said, 'if you're in with the right crowd.' Annie Proulx highlights this kind of irony in her third collection of short stories about the hardships of Wyoming life from 1885 to the present.

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California Literary Review

The past holds a special resonance for Proulx – with the landscape it is the one other constant of life – and she invests it with special resonance here.

Oct 19 2008 | Read Full Review of Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyom...

Reader Rating for Fine Just the Way It Is
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