In the second episode of Shelf-Reflective, we will be discussing The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. This book was selected because it won the Pulitzer Prize as well as National Book Award the year it was released, and now over 20 years later it is still a popular book, considered by some a modern classic.
If you want to read along with us, good news–we’re only about a quarter of the way into the book at the moment, and probably at least a couple weeks from recording, so you’ve got time.
The book follows downtrodden Quoyle as he moves to his ancestral home, right next to the sea in Newfoundland, to start a new life with his daughters and his aunt.
A small excerpt from near the beginning:
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: the father who shot his oldest children and himself that the rest might live on flour scrapings; sealers crouched on a floe awash from their weight until one leaped into the sea; storm journeys to fetch medicines—always the wrong thing and too late for the convulsing hangashore.
If you’ve already read it, we’d love to hear your reactions to it, and your thoughts and/or questions about it – email us at shelfreflective [at] gmail.