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No. 54 Still Crazy: Annie Proulx

I saw my favorite American writer in the grocery store last night.

Annie Proulx was pushing a grocery cart and choosing salsa. I recognized her right away because just the night before i had watched a video of her being interviewed at the National Book festival.

She bought a house in Port Townsend, Washington - about 10 miles from where I live. How often she is in town, I do not know but I was downright star struck. I'm embarrassed to say that because I've grown to become justifiably cynical about the famous. At the same time, I'm grateful that I still have the capacity to be awed by talent. I was blown so well away that I had to sit down in the adjacent cafe to process Annie and the salsa.

I just love her writing. It is both unforgiving and strangely reassuring. Right now i am getting lost in "Barkskins" - her latest novel.

Here's the video interview. Starting at 44:00 Proulx talks about living in the Pacific Northwest. She waxes poetic about her respect for the Makah Tribe and says she is studying seaweed. I hope this combination is her next book.

And this quote from "Close Range", about the magic of live music, is one of my favorites:

“A kind of joyous hysteria moved into the room, everything flying before the wind, vehicles outside getting dented to hell, the crowd sweaty and the smells of aftershave, manure, clothes dried on the line, your money’s worth of perfume, smoke, booze; the music subdued by the shout and babble through the bass hammer could be felt through the soles of the feet, shooting up the channels of legs to the body fork, center of everything. It is the kind of Saturday night that torches your life for a few hours, makes it seem like something is happening.”

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