Happy Birthday to Pulitzer-prize winning author, Annie Proulx, who turns 84 today and whose fiction transports the reader into pockets of rural America most will never see. You don’t really read an Annie Proulx story, you inhabit it, and no matter how somber or bleak the journey, you are always the better for it.
They never talked about the sex, let it happen, at first only in the tent at night, then in the full daylight with the hot sun striking down, and at evening in the fire glow, quick, rough, laughing and snorting, no lack of noises, but saying not a goddam word except once Ennis said, “I’m not no queer,” and Jack jumped in with “Me neither. A one-shot thing. Nobody’s business but ours.” There were only the two of them on the mountain, flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk’s back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.From “Brokeback Mountain” via the October 13, 1997 issue of The New Yorker
*Photo of a young Annie camping in the woods near her home; by David Sillitoe/The Guardian