Annie Proulx Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Edna Annie Proulx (prew) was born August 22, 1935, in Norwich, Connecticut, to George Proulx, vice president of a textile company and Lois Proulx, a painter who traced her family history in Connecticut back to the year 1635. Lois Proulx was an amateur naturalist who encouraged the young Annie to observe small details of everyday life and the natural world, a habit that would later develop into the detailed research that contributed depth and realism to Proulx’s fiction.

In the early 1950’s Proulx briefly attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, but left without completing a degree. She returned to college in 1963 and in 1969 graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont with a bachelor of arts degree in history. During these years Proulx was married and divorced three times; a daughter from her first marriage lived with Proulx’s first former husband while Proulx raised three sons from her second and third marriages.

In 1973 Proulx graduated from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal with a master of arts degree in history. She completed all the work for a doctoral degree in Renaissance European economics and passed the oral examinations in 1975 but decided not to complete her dissertation, as there were so few teaching jobs available in her field.

The eldest of five sisters, Proulx had been drawn from an early age to the outdoor life; after leaving school she moved to a small cabin in the Vermont woods and spent much of her time hunting, fishing, and canoeing. In the 1980’s she supported herself and her sons by working as a freelance journalist, publishing dozens of magazine articles on topics ranging from fishing and making cider to growing apples and lettuce. Eventually she accepted assignments to write do-it-yourself handbooks about gardening, cooking, and home-building projects. These books often provided historical illustrations and background in addition to instructional material, early evidence of Proulx’s devotion to research and historical detail. In 1986 she received a Garden Writers Association of America award for her how-to books and cookbooks. Although the subject matter reflected Proulx’s interest in the back-to-the-land movement and self-sufficiency, over time she found nonfiction manuals less interesting to write.

Proulx enjoyed writing fiction and had published several short stories in Seventeen magazine while she was in graduate school. Even while writing nonfiction on assignment, she managed to produce one or two short stories each year. Though she was able to sell most of her short stories, Proulx never thought she could make a living writing fiction. Two of these early stories were listed as “Distinguished Short Stories” in Best American Short Stories for 1983 and 1987.

In the early 1980’s Tom Jenks, an editor at Esquire magazine, accepted three of Proulx’s stories for publication, giving her exposure to a larger, national audience. When Jenks took a job at the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons, he offered Proulx an opportunity to publish her first collection, Heart Songs, and Other...

(The entire section is 1292 words.)

Annie Proulx Biography

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Edna Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1935, the oldest of five daughters. Her father worked his way up in the textile mills to the position of vice president; her mother painted landscapes in watercolors. Because her father was frequently transferred, the family moved several times when she was young. She entered Colby College in the 1950’s but dropped out to, as she says, “experience two terrible marriages, New York City, the Far East, and single-mother-with-two-children poverty.” She returned to school in 1963, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She entered the graduate program at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University), in Montreal, specializing in Renaissance economic history, and finished all the work for the Ph.D. degree except the dissertation.

By this time Proulx had been married and divorced three times and was the mother of three sons. She worked as a freelance journalist from 1975 to 1988, writing books and articles on a wide range of subjects. In the mid-1990’s, Proulx moved from Vermont to Centennial, Wyoming (population 100), where she lives and writes in relative isolation. She travels part of the year to Australia and Ireland and across the United States.

Annie Proulx Biography

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Edna Annie Proulx is the oldest of the five daughters of George Napoleon Proulx and Lois “Nelly” Gill Proulx. Her father’s ancestors immigrated to Quebec from France in 1637 and then, around the time of the American Civil War, to New England to work in the textile mills. Her mother’s family had immigrated to America from England in 1635. George Proulx began working in the textile industry as a bobbin boy but quickly advanced to the vice presidency of a textile mill and served as an internationally recognized consultant in textiles. His work involved assignments in various venues, and the family moved with him.

The family had lived in North Carolina, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maine by the time Proulx finished secondary school at Deering High School in Portland, Maine, in 1953. Her mother was an amateur artist and devoted naturalist. She passed these interests along to her daughters, including Annie, much of whose freelance writing would later explore naturalist topics.

Proulx enrolled in Colby College in Waterville, Maine, with the class of 1957, but she dropped out of college in 1955 to marry the first of her three husbands, all of whom she eventually divorced. She had a daughter by her first husband, two sons by her second, and another son by her third. The daughter, from whom Proulx was estranged, lived with her father, who raised her. Eventually her relationship with Proulx, who was always close to her sons, improved. Proulx helped...

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Annie Proulx Biography

(Short Stories for Students)

E. Annie Proulx was born on August 22, 1935, in Norwich, Connecticut, into a family of farmers, mill workers, inventors, and artists whose...

(The entire section is 395 words.)

Annie Proulx Biography

(Short Stories for Students)
Annie Proulx Published by Gale Cengage

Annie Proulx was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1935 to George and Lois Proulx. Her ancestors had lived in the area of Connecticut for over...

(The entire section is 425 words.)