Bird Cloud

Version: Unabridged
Author: Annie Proulx
Narrator: Joan Allen
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Fiction & Literature, Essays & Anthologies, Science & Technology, Animals & Nature
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: January 2011
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

"Bird Cloud" is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen.

Proulx's first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house—with its solar panels, Japanese soak tub, concrete floor and elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets. It is also an enthralling natural history and archaeology of the region—inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho and Shoshone Indians— and a family history, going back to nineteenth-century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.

Proulx, a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and compassion, here turns her lens on herself. We understand how she came to be living in a house surrounded by wilderness, with shelves for thousands of books and long worktables on which to heap manuscripts, research materials and maps, and how she came to be one of the great American writers of her time. Bird Cloud is magnificent.

*** Due to Extended Track length, it may not be possible to transfer this title to regular audio Cd.

Reviews (1)

Bird Cloud

Written by KT from Lynnwood, WA on June 8th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Couldn't get into this book, dreary and boring about someones life that wasn't very interesting at ALL! Waste of time.

Author Details

Author Details

Proulx, Annie

"Annie Proulx (b. 1935) was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the oldest of five sisters. Her mother was a painter and amateur naturalist whose family had lived in Connecticut since 1635 as farmers, millworkers, inventors, and artists. Her father was the vice president of a textile company, and the Proulx moved frequently - North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island. Proulx attended Colby College, the University of Vermont, and Concordia University, earning a B.A. and an M.A., as well as passing her doctoral oral examinations in history.

In 1975, with few teaching jobs available, she abandoned work on her Ph.D. and began a perilous career in freelance journalism. In the 1980s she published six ""how-to"" books on a variety of subjects, including Plane and Make Your Own Fences and Gates, Walkways, Walls and Drives (1983). During this time she also raised her three sons from her third marriage while living in an isolated cabin in a rural town in Vermont.

Supporting herself and her sons on her meager income as a journalist, Proulx began to write stories for fun, creating one or two a year. Most of these early stories were written for a men's magazine about hunting and fishing, where her first editor told her that she had to publish under a masculine name, ""something like Joe or Zack, retrievers' names,"" she complained. They compromised on using her initials, E. A. Proulx, the E standing for her first name, Edna.

In 1983 and 1987, two of her stories were listed among the ""Distinguished Short Stories"" in Best American Short Stories. In 1988, Proulx published her first book of fiction, the nine stories set in northern Vermont constituting Heart Songs and Other Stories. Two of her three novels, Postcards (1992), and The Shipping News (1994), won prestigious awards?the PEN/Faulkner, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. "