Annie Proulx Essay

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Naturalist and environmental writer Ellen Meloy, who died in 2004, loved the huge red rocks of the Four Corners region where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona come together in a dusty knot, a region of Navajo and Hopi languages and cultures with some of the most profound land views in North America. sounds like a cross between a chloroform stupor and a high Mass.” She had the rare gift of seeing humor in the wild world and in our attempts to know it.

The testosterone was so thick a woman could get pregnant just by walking down the hall.

The map room was strangely chilly, an oasis of detumescence.

I look at my neighbors’ faces and see a bone-deep fatigue. It comes up every afternoon, pushing heat and dust, rattling the dry cottonwood leaves and thrashing my hair about my face. This time, no one is sure that it will come again so easily.

Annie Proulx is 80 years old and still not sure where she belongs.

“But ultimately, I did not belong there.” After 20 years in Wyoming—several spent building a dream home she later sold—Proulx had a similar epiphany about that state.

As she did about Vermont, and Texas, and New Mexico, and any number of places where she has lived.

In an age of itinerary writer-teachers, Proulx’s boomerangs back and forth across North America are exceptional.

Now she’s made a similar discovery of the wooded idyll east of Seattle.


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