The University of Malta's Department of English with the collaboration
and sponsorship of the American Embassy, organised a videoconference
on 19th April with the American novelist, Annie Proulx.
Annie Proulx won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her novel The Shipping News, which was subsequently made into a film. She is also the author of three other novels, Postcards (1992), Accordion Crimes (1996), and That Old Ace in the Hole (2002), and of two short story collections, Heart Songs and Other Stories (1988) and Close Range (1999). Her work is distinguished by a powerful and vivid focus on the effect of landscape and place on experience and destiny, and her characters are typically rural anti-heroes whose dignity derives from their sense of an unequal struggle against life and their own shortcomings.
During the videoconference, Annie Proulx, speaking from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, read extracts from her works, spoke briefly about the importance of the spirit of place in her writings, and answered questions on a number of issues related to her fiction. These included questions on the role of landscape, history, and the supernatural in her work, on her outlook on contemporary American narrative and her own place within the American literary tradition, on her views on the filming of The Shipping News (a film of her short story, Brokeback Mountain, is currently also in production), and on aspects of her very individual prose style.
The event was organised as part of two undergraduate coursesˇa course in contemporary American narrative, and another focused exclusively on her workˇand was coordinated by Mr Erik Holm-Olsen, US Embassy Public Affairs Officer and Director of the American Center, and Dr Ivan Callus, from the Department of English.
3 May 2004