Bird Cloud: A Memoir of Place

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 27, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
14 Reviews
Part autobiography, part natural history, Bird Cloud is the glorious story of Annie Proulx’s piece of the Wyoming landscape and her home there.

“Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen.

Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house—with its solar panels, Japanese soak tub, concrete floor, and elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets. It is also an enthralling natural history and archaeology of the region—inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho, and Shoshone Indians—and a family history, going back to nineteenth-century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.

Proulx, a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and compassion, here turns her lens on herself. We understand how she came to be living in a house surrounded by wilderness, with shelves for thousands of books and long worktables on which to heap manuscripts, research materials and maps, and how she came to be one of the great American writers of her time.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CasaBooks - LibraryThing

Story of discovering a magical part of the world and the land that she wanted to build a home on and the details of the history, the magic of nature there, the steps of obtaining & building and the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TCWriter - LibraryThing

This is essentially a diary of the purchase and construction of Annie Proulx's new home in a remote stretch of Wyoming. Fans of her fiction will recognize the tight, deeply researched and descriptive ... Read full review

Contents

The Back Road to Bird Cloud
1
AYard ofCloth
15
Lodgepole Pines and Houses
35
The Iron Enters My Soul
55
The James Gang
71
When the Wind Blows
99
Details Details Details
117
Bird Clouds Checkered Past
139
all beaded all earringed wing feather bowstring sided
163
AYear ofBirds
191
Postscript
233
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent novel is Barkskins. She lives in Seattle.