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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