THE SHIPPING NEWS PDF
E. Annie Proulx ² The Shipping News WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION. Shipping News: A Novel (Scribner Classics) · Read more The News Shapers: The Sources Who Explain the News · Read more. The Shipping News: A Novel by Annie Proulx - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. When Quoyle's two-timing wife meets her.
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PDF - The shipping news. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Annie Proulx's The Shipping News is a vigorous, darkly comic, and at times magical portrait of the. Before she wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx was already producing some of the finest short fiction in the country. The Shipping News. E. Annie Proulx. (Login required). Email the author (Login required). Related Items Download this PDF file. Thumbnails Document.
But could learn. Rescuing lost children, showing them ways to grasp life. She squeezed her hands together, showing him that anyone alive could clench possibilities. The aunt, the children, Wavey. He pressed his groin against the barrens as if he were in union with the earth. His aroused senses imbued the far scene with enormous importance. The small figures against the vast rock with the sea beyond.
All the complex wires of life were stripped out and he could see the structure of life. Nothing but rock and sea, the tiny figures of humans and animals against them for a brief time. The sharpness of his gaze pierced the past. He saw generations like migrating birds, the bay flecked with ghost sails, the deserted settlements vigorous again, and in the abyss nets spangled with scales.
Saw the Quoyles rinsed of evil by the passage of time. He imagined the aunt buried and gone, himself old, Wavey stooped with age, his daughters in faraway lives A sense of purity renewed, a sense of events in trembling balance flooded him.
Everything, everything seemed encrusted with portent. Something unfolding. But what? Not love, which wrenched and wounded. Not love, which came only once. He treated me body like a trough. Come and slobber in me after them. I felt like he was casting vomit in me when he come to his climax. And I never told that but to you. And I think maybe that is why I loved her. You know what I mean? Lemme see it before you give it on to that black son of a bitch on the copy desk. Quoyle at the back of the meeting, writing on his pad.
W e n t home, typed and retyped all night at the kitchen table. In the morning, eyes circled by rings, nerved on coffee, he went to the newsroom. Ed Punch, always the first through the door, slid into his office like an eel into the rock.
Feature-page man swinging a bag of coconut doughnuts; tall Chinese woman with varnished hair; elderly circulation man with arms like hawsers; two women from layout; photo editor, yesterday's shirt all underarm stains.
Quoyle at his desk pinching his c h i n , his head down, pretending to correct his article. It was eleven pages long. A t ten o'clock, Partridge. Red suspenders and a linen shirt.
H e nodded and patted his way across the newsroom, stuck his head in Punch's crevice, winked at Quoyle, settled into the copy desk slot i n front of his terminal. Partridge knew a thousand things, that wet ropes held greater weight, why a hard-boiled egg spun more readily than a raw.
Eyes half closed, head tipped back in a light trance, he could cite baseball statistics as the ancients unreeled The Iliad. H e reshaped banal prose, scraped the mold off Jimmy Breslin imitations. U A1 isn't i n yet," he said, squaring up the pages, u so I thought I'd give it to you.
Was o n the job. Read for a few seconds, lifted his face to the fluorescent light. A l saw it he'd tell Punch to get rid of you.
Y o u got to rewrite this. Here, sit down. Show you what's wrong. They say reporters can be made out of anything. You'll be a test case. Last night the Pine Eye Planning Commission voted by a large margin to revise earlier recommendations for amendments to the municipal zoning code that would increase the m i n i m u m plot size of residential properties i n all but downtown areas to seven acres.
T o o long. W a y , way, way too long. N o human interest. N o quotes.
Short sentences. Break it up. Look at this, look at this. Here's your angle down here. That's news. Quoyle leaned close, stared, fidgeted, understood nothing. A few minutes before Foxley's resignation the commission approved a new zoning law by a vote of 9 to i. T h e new law limits m i n i m u m residential property sizes to seven acres. G e t the idea? Here, see what you can do. Put some spin o n i t. After six months of copy desk fixes Quoyle didn't recognize news, had no aptitude for detail.
H e was afraid of all but twelve or fifteen verbs.
H a d a fatal flair for the false passive. H o w the hell can you hand a governor? Line them up against the wall! Quoyle sat through meetings scribbling o n pads. It seemed he was part of something. Edna's roars, Partridge's picking did not hurt h i m. H e had come up under the savage brother, the father's relentless criticism.
Irregular hours encouraged h i m to imagine that he was master of his own time. H o m e after midnight from a debate o n the wording of a minor municipal bylaw o n bottle recycling, he felt he was a pin i n the hinge of power. Saw the commonplaces of life as newspaper headlines.
Phone Rings i n Empty R o o m. Partridge labored to improve h i m. Hands i n pockets. A m o n t h ago they were ready to start van service i n four towns if Bugle H o l l o w came i n. Y o u say here that they met last night, then, way down at the end you mention sort of as a minor detail, that Bugle H o l l o w decided not to join.
Y o u know how many old people, no cars, people can't afford a car or a second car, commuters, been waiting for that goddamn van to pull up?
N o w it's not going to happen.
News, Quoyle, news. Better get your mojo working. H e did, but wondered what a mojo actually was. H e looked out of his ruined face past Quoyle's ear. If it picks up later on. Partridge knew why. Talked Quoyle into putting o n a huge apron, gave h i m a spoon and a jar.
They got your job. That's right, spread that mustard o n the meat, let it work i n. Says you're interested, come in M o n d a y morning. Made a show of taking Quoyle back as a special favor. T h e truth was Punch had noticed that Quoyle, who spoke little himself, inspired talkers. H i s only skill i n the game of life. His attentive posture, his flattering nods urged waterfalls of opinion, reminiscence, recollection, theorizing, guesstimating, exposition, synopsis and explication, juiced the life stories out of strangers.
Fired, car wash attendant, rehired. Fired, cabdriver, rehired. Back and forth he went, down and around the county, listening to the wrangles of sewer boards, road commissions, pounding out stories of bridge repair budgets.
She said that a million times. Those things she did—they reassured her for a little while. They said the Geo had veered off the expressway and rolled down a bank sown with native wild flowers, caught on fire.
Her neck broken. Newspaper clippings blew out of the car, along the highway; reports of a monstrous egg in Texas, a fungus in the likeness of Jascha Heifetz, a turnip as large as a pumpkin, a pumpkin as small as a radish.
In Bacon Falls, Connecticut. Quoyle, in his living room, blubbing through red fingers, said he could forgive Petal anything if the children were safe. Why do we weep in grief, the aunt wondered. Dogs, deer, birds suffered with dry eyes and in silence. The dumb suffering of animals. Probably a survival technique.
Tan knobs in the sugar bowl from wet coffee spoons. His thigh clashed against the table. The sofa creaked. Who knows? You take after Sian Quoyle. Your poor grandfather. I never knew him. Dead before I was born. But I saw the picture of him many times, the tooth of a dead man hanging on a string around his neck. To keep toothache away.
They believed in that. But he was very good-natured they said. Laughed and sang.
The Shipping News
Anybody could fool him with a joke. Nineteen and twenty-seven. I never heard he was twelve. But not mine. Then when he drowned, she married Cokey Hamm, that was my father. Listening in spite of himself. Blowing his nose into the paper napkin. Which he folded and put on the edge of his saucer. Afterwards we went over to stinking Catspaw Harbor where we was treated like mud by that crowd. There was an awful girl with a purple tetter growing out of her eyebrow.
Threw rocks. And then we came to the States. The mysteries of unknown family. Quoyle could not tell if a man or a woman was speaking. There were blank film cartridges all over the place, but the camera jammed or something. When the officers came in he was on the phone to the store where he bought the camera, yelling at the clerk. The children were examined by a child abuse pediatric specialist.
She says there was no evidence that he did anything physical to them except undress them and clip their fingernails and toenails. But he clearly had something in mind. Bunny asleep in a chair, eyeballs rolling beneath violet lids. He lugged them out to the car, squeezing them in his hot arms, murmuring that he loved them.
Broke her hip this spring. Fanny is in Saudi Arabia.
She married a falconer. Has to wear a black thing over her face. They smelled of Sierra Free dish detergent scented with calendula and horsemint. Longing, perhaps. His only female relative. She nodded. Get things straightened up. A new place, new people, new sights. A clean slate. See, you can be anything you want with a fresh start. She growled when the aunt opened the rear door. They pulled all of her teeth two years ago.
He was wedged in a seat on a ferry pitching toward Newfoundland, his windbreaker stuffed under his cheek, the elbow wet where he had gnawed it. The smell of sea damp and paint, boiled coffee. Nor any escape from static snarled in the public address speakers, gunfire in the movie lounge. Bunny and Sunshine stood on the seats opposite Quoyle, staring through glass at the games room. Crimson Mylar walls, a ceiling that reflected heads and shoulders like disembodied putti on antique valentines.
The children yearned toward the water-bubble music. The needles jabbed his thigh but he did not care. He was brimming with nausea. What was left for him in Mockingburg? Unemployed, wife gone, parents deceased.
Thirty thousand to the spouse and ten thousand to each eligible child. The children slept, Quoyle and the aunt sat at the kitchen table. The aunt in her big purple dress, having a drop of whiskey in a teacup. Quoyle with a cup of Ovaltine. To help him sleep, the aunt said. Blue sleeping pills. He was embarrassed but swallowed them. Fingernails bitten to the quick.
You know it takes a year, a full turn of the calendar, to get over losing somebody. And what place would be more natural than where your family came from? Maybe you could ask around, your newspaper friends, tap the grapevine. There might be a job up there. Just the trip would be an experience for the girls. See another part of the world.
The aunt leaned on her elbow. Chin on the heel of her hand. Probably some atavistic drive to finish up where you started. Going to move my little business up there. The inertia of grief rolled through him. Not now. Woke at midnight, swimming up from aubergine nightmare. The driver is gross, a bald head, mucus suspended from his nostrils, his hands covered with some 25 E. Quoyle has the power to see both sides of the truck at once.
Quoyle is somehow flying along beside them, powered by anxiety. Clusters of headlights flicker closer. The headlights close. He shouts to tell her death is imminent, but is voiceless. Woke up pulling at the sheet. For the rest of the night he sat in the living room with a book in his lap. His eyes went back and forth, he read, but comprehended nothing. The aunt was right. Get out of here. I was just thinking about you the other day.
When you going to come out and visit? Bought a house two years ago. Planning on buying our own rig pretty soon, doing independent contracting. These trucks are sweet-double bunk, little kitchenette. We sit up there over the traffic, look down on the cars. Making three times the money I was. You been on the old roller coaster.
You had the full-course dinner. Least you got your kids: Gimme the names of the nearest towns again? Quoyle made him think of a huge roll of newsprint from the pulp mill. Blank and speckled with imperfections. Good luck? Fame and fortune?
Who knows, thought Partridge. He liked the rich taste of life so well himself he wished for an entree or two for Quoyle. A weekly. They looking for somebody, too. Want somebody to cover the shipping news. Want somebody with maritime connections if possible. Quoyle, you got maritime connections? You always come at me out of left field. Anyway, it works out, you got to handle work permits and immigration and all that. Deal with those guys.
Got a pencil? Give you the number. Let me know how it goes. And listen, any time you want to come out here, stay with Mercalia and me, you just come on. This is a real good place to make money.
He needed something to brace against. A month later they drove away in his station wagon. Across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on three-lane highways, trouble in the center lane, making the aunt clench her hands. In North Sydney plates of oily fish for supper, and no one who cared, and in the raw morning, the ferry to Port-Aux-Basques. At last. Or stood spraddle-legged, hands knotted behind her back, facing wind. Her hair captured under a babushka, face a stone with little intelligent eyes.
She spoke of the weather with a man in a watch cap. They talked awhile. Someone else reel footing along, said, Rough today, eh? She worried about Warren, down in the station wagon, tossing up and down. Never been to sea. Probably thought the world was coming to an end and she all alone, in a strange car. Could not help tears. Sunkers under wrinkled water, boats threading tickles between ice-scabbed cliffs.
Tundra and barrens, a land of stunted spruce men cut and drew away. How many had come here, leaning on the rail as she leaned now. Staring at the rock in the sea.
Drawn by the cod, from the days when massed fish slowed ships on the drift for the passage to  the Spice Isles, expecting cities of gold.
The lookout dreamed of roasted auk or sweet berries in cups of plaited grass, but saw crumpling waves, lights flickering along the ship rails. The only cities were of ice, bergs with cores of beryl, blue gems within white gems, that some said gave off an odor of almonds. She had caught the bitter scent as a child. Shore parties returned to ship blood-crusted with insect bites.
Wet, wet, the interior of the island, they said, bog and marsh, rivers and chains of ponds alive with metal-throated birds. The ships scraped on around the points. And the lookout saw shapes of caribou folding into fog. Later, some knew it as a place that bred malefic spirits.
Spring starvation showed skully heads, knobbed joints beneath flesh. What desperate work to stay alive, to scrob and claw through hard times.
The alchemist sea changed fishermen into wet bones, sent boats to drift among the cod, cast them on the landwash. She remembered the stories in old mouths: But now they said that hard life was done.
The forces of fate weakened by unemployment insurance, a flaring hope in offshore oil money. All was progress and possession, all shove and push, now. They said. And her dad, Harold Hamm, dead the month before they left,  killed when a knot securing a can hook failed. Off-loading barrels of nails. The corner of the sling drooped, the barrel came down.
Its iron-rimmed chine struck the nape of his neck, dislocated vertebrae and crushed the spinal column. Paralyzed and fading on the dock, unable to speak; who knew what thoughts crashed against the washline of his seizing brain as the kids and wife bent over, imploring Father, Father.
No one said his name, only the word father, as though fatherhood had been the great thing in his life. Even Guy, who cared for no one but himself. She had taken the box from sobbing Quoyle, carried it up to the guest room. Lay awake thinking she might pour Guy into a plastic supermarket bag, tie the loop handles, and toss him into the dumpster. Only a thought. Wondered which had changed the most, place or self?
It was a strong place. She shuddered. It would be better now.
Leaned on the rail, looking into the dark Atlantic that snuffled at the slope of the past. Quoyle steered up the west coast of the Great Northern Peninsula along a highway rutted by transport trucks. The road ran between the loppy waves of the Strait of Belle Isle and mountains like blue melons. Across the strait sullen Labrador. Trucks ground east in caravans, stainless steel cabs beaded with mist.
Quoyle almost recognized the louring sky. As though he had dreamed this place once, forgot it later. The car rolled over fissured land. Cracked cliffs in volcanic glazes. On a ledge above the sea a murre laid her single egg.
The Shipping News: A Novel by Annie Proulx
Harbors still locked in ice. Tombstone houses jutting from raw granite, the coast black, glinting like lumps of silver ore. The Point, anyway, still on the map. A house  empty for forty-four years. She scoffed, said it could not still stand, but inwardly believed something had held, that time had not cheated her of this return. Her voice clacked.
Quoyle, listening, drove with his mouth open as though to taste the subarctic air. On the horizon icebergs like white prisons. The immense blue fabric of the sea, rumpled and creased.
Waves bursting against the headlands. Exploding water. It was hauled up on the shore far enough out of the storm and he fixed it up. Little chimney sticking up, path with a border of stone.
The shipping news
Lived there for years until one day when he was sitting out in front mending net and the rotten hull collapsed and killed him. Quoyle appraised the rare motels they passed with the eye of someone who expected to sleep in one of them. On the west side of Omaloor Bay the point thrust into the ocean like a bent thumb. The house, whether now collapsed, vandalized, burned, carried away in pieces, had been there.
Ships entered the bay through the neck of the flask. On the eastern shore the settlement of Flour Sack Cove, three miles farther down the town of Killick-Claw, and along the bottom, odds and ends of coves. The aunt rummaged in her black flapjack handbag for a brochure.
Read aloud the charms of Killick-Claw, statistics of its government wharf, fish plant, freight terminal, restaurants. Population, two thousand. Potential unlimited. Looks about two miles by water. And a long trip by road. Used to be a ferry run from Capsize Cove to Killick Claw every morning and night.
If you had a boat and a motor you could do it yourself. There was a road off the main highway, the aunt said, that showed as a dotted line on the map. Gravel, mud, washboard going nowhere. They missed the turnoff, drove until they saw gas pumps. A sign. The store in a house. Dark room. Behind the counter they could see a kitchen, teakettle spitting on the stove. Bunny heard television laughter. Waiting for someone to appear, Quoyle examined bear-paw snowshoes.
Walked around, looking at the homemade shelves, open boxes of skinning knives, needles for mending net, cones of line, rubber gloves, potted meats, a pile of adventure videos. Bunny peered through the freezer door at papillose frost crowding the ice cream tubs.
A man, sedge-grass hair sticking out from a cap embroidered with the name of a French bicycle manufacturer, came from the kitchen; chewed something gristly. Trousers a sullen crookedness of wool. The aunt talked. Quoyle modeled a sealskin hat for his children, helped them choose dolls made from clothespins.
Inked faces smiled from the heads. Swallowed before answering. On a right as you go back. Not much in there now. Quoyle at a rack of comic books, studied a gangster firing a laser gun at a trussed woman. The gangsters always wore green suits.
He paid for the dolls. Quoyle turned onto the sumpy road. Churned mud. The tire marks disappeared. Must have turned around, thought Quoyle, wanting to do the same and try tomorrow. Or had dropped in a bottomless hole. I want to be there. I want to put on my bathing suit and play on the beach. Only polar bears go swimming now. But you can throw stones in the water. On the map, Aunt, how long is this road? To the house. There was a footpath.
Go places in the boat. Nobody had a car or truck. That paved main highway we come up on is all new. The bay seemed to be coming out of her mind, a blue hallucination. Quoyle and the road in combat. Car Disintegrates on Remote Goatpath. Dusk washed in, the car struggled up a grade.
They were on the edge of cliffs. Below, Capsize Cove, the abandoned houses askew. Fading light.
Ahead, the main track swallowed in distance. Quoyle pulled onto the shoulder, wondered if anybody had ever gone over the edge, metal jouncing on rocks.
The side track down to the ruined cove steep, strewn with boulders. More gully than road. So close to the beginning of everything. And lights that go down, down, down when you turn the knob. And you can turn the television off and on with that thing without getting out of bed. It had been her idea. But she bent over her purse, rummaging for something private.
Her old hair flattened and crushed. We blow up the air mattresses and fold down the backseat and spread them out, put the sleeping bags on them and there you are, two nice comfortable beds. Aunt will have one and you two girls can share the other. He reached back between the seats, his red hand offered to Bunny. The dog licked his fingers. There was the familiar feeling that things were going wrong.
Feel like my neck is welded. And Bunny sleeps as quiet as an eggbeater. The car glazed with salt. Quoyle squinted at the road. It curved, angled away from shoreline and into fog. What he could see of it looked good. Better than yesterday. The aunt slapped mosquitoes, knotted a kerchief under her chin. Quoyle longed for bitter coffee or a clear view.
Whatever he hoped for never happened. He rolled the damp tent. Seeing blue beads that fell and fell from a string although she held both ends tightly. The interior of the station wagon smelled of human hair. An arc showed in the fog, beyond it a second arc of faint prismatic colors. How loud the station wagon engine sounded. Suddenly they were on a good gravel road. They crossed a concrete bridge over a stream the color of beer. But for what?
God knows why. That road is all washed out. And Capsize Cove is dead. Warren yelped as she was thrown against the back of the seat. A moose stood broadside, looming; annoyance in its retreat. The road came to an end in an asphalt parking lot beside a concrete building. The wild barrens pressed all around. Quoyle and the aunt got out.
Silence, except for the wind sharpening itself on the corner of the building, the gnawing sea. The aunt pointed at cracks in the walls, a few windows up under the eaves. They tried the doors. Metal, and locked. Or was. It was in my sleeping bag. I slept on it all night. Remembering the names for things.
Heaped the boughs in the lee of the building. Quoyle got the water jug from the car. In fifteen minutes they were drinking out of the soda cans, scalding tea that tasted of smoke and orangeade. The aunt drew the sleeve of her sweater down to protect her hand from the hot metal. Fog shuddered against their faces.
Ochre brilliance suffused the tattered fog, disclosed the bay, smothered it. The old windows. Double chimneys. As it always was. Over there! Saw fog stirring. The cove and then the house. Bunny got out of the car, still in her sleeping bag, shuffling along over the asphalt.
Can I have a soda, too? How do you do that, Daddy? The wind got under the fog, drove it up. Glimpses of the ruffled bay.
The aunt pointing, arm like that of the shooting gallery figure with the cigar in its metal hand. In the bay they saw a scallop dragger halfway to the narrows, a wake like the hem of a slip showing behind it. The house was the green of grass stain, tilted in fog.
The house rocked with his strides through a pitching ocean of dwarf birch. That color of green made her sick. Six years separated her from him, and every day was widening water between her outward-bound boat and the shore that was her father.Better get your mojo working. But could learn. Sent Quoyle a note on blue paper, her name and address in raised letters, pressed with a mail-order device. A free country. Bunny asleep in a chair, eyeballs rolling beneath violet lids.