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Barkskins: A Novel Audiobook, by Annie Proulx Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781442370074
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From Annie Proulx—the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain—comes her masterpiece, ten years in the writing: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about taming the wilderness and destroying the forest, set over two centuries.

In the late seventeenth century two illiterate woodsmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, make their way from Northern France to New France to seek a living. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they suffer extraordinary hardship, always in awe of the forest they are charged with clearing, sometimes brimming with dreams of its commercial potential. Rene marries an Indian healer, and they have children, mixing the blood of two cultures. Duquet travels the globe and back, starting a logging company that will prosper for generations. Proulx tells the stories of the children, grandchildren, and descendants of these two lineages, the Sels and the Duquets, as well as the descendants of their allies and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or a fortune, or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions—accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.

Beyond her vast research and astonishing imagination, Proulx’s inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid—in their greed, lust, vengefulness, sorrow, compassion and hope—that we follow them with fierce attention, and when they die, there are others equally visceral and magnetic. Annie Proulx is one of the most formidable writers of our time, and Barkskins is her Moby Dick, the story she has been writing all her life, a magnificent American novel. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A stunning, bracing, full-tilt ride through 300 years of US and Canadian history…with the type of full-immersion plot that keeps you curled in your chair, reluctant to stop reading.”


  • “A tale too beautiful to miss, excellent for long afternoons spent swaying in a hammock.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • Masterful, full of an urgent, tense lyricism, its plotting beautifully unexpected.”

    USA Today

  • “Pages melt away as readers zoom through the decades…This is Proulx at the height of her powers as an irreplaceable American voice.”

    Entertainment Weekly (Grade A)

  • “Barkskins is grand entertainment in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Magnificent…One of the chief pleasures of Proulx’s prose is that it conveys you to so many vanished wildwoods, where you get to stand ‘tiny and amazed in the kingdom of pines’…If Barkskins doesn’t bear exquisite witness to our species’ insatiable appetite for consumption, nothing can.”


  • “Annie Proulx’s Barkskins is remarkable…the kind of immersive reading experience that only comes along every few years.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Proulx’s talents shine brightest in her vividly real and tragically flawed characters, who cling to the misguided belief that the bounty of the forest will endure forever.”


  • “Petkoff’s delivery is mesmerizing, with distinctive voices for generations of well-developed characters and perfect pacing and incredible accents that give an air of authenticity…A transporting listen. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Longlisted for the 2017 Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for June 2016
  • An Indie Next List Pick for July 2016
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July 2016
  • A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Top 10 Selection
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

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 short story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in the New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award–winning film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Proulx currently lives in Wyoming.

About the Narrator

Robert Petkoff is an actor and audiobook narrator who has won a prestigious Audie Award and multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, and Quantum Leap. His Broadway credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tateh in Ragtime.