The Shipping News

The Shipping News
by Annie Proulx
a kate west favorite

"The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx is an incredible life-affirming novel. Full of nautical terms and rope tying, each chapter is another richly symbolic knot in the lives of the weathered and dimensional characters. Despite darkness and sometimes even death, there is an end light for most of them, leading them into calm serenity. And it all starts with a man named Quoyle.

Born in Brooklyn of humble origins, Quoyle surprises himself by finding his way back to his family's roots in Newfoundland with his old aunt, two kids and a dog. A great, bumbling oaf of a man, he somehow stumbles into newspaper writing, marries a tiny woman named Petal Bear who gives him a child named Bunny and another named Sunshine, who then tries to take them from him but then dies tragically. The remaining family ultimately finds their own way and finally a true home. Quoyle gets a job reporting on the local shipping news for a local rag called The Gammy Bird, meets a mysterious tall woman named Wavey and even learns how to swim. Steering that life course, they all learn about the land, about the people and about each other.

It is beautifully written and quite poetic. And you'll most likely want to visit the ocean right away. The Hollywood movie directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Scott Glenn and Cate Blanchet isn't bad, but not at all at the level of the book, so you might not want to bother. Stick with the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and it will satisfy your need for a little lyricism in your life.

Read It:
The Shipping News Read more!