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Extended Audio Sample Bird Cloud: A Memoir Audiobook, by Annie Proulx Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 53.22 out of 5 3.22 (9 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Proulx Narrator: Joan Allen Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9780743597258
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“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.

Proulx’s first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, 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. Bird Cloud is magnificent. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gorgeous descriptions… Unforgettable anecdotes.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Annie Proulx has a wit as sharp as the winter winds of Wyoming.”

    USA Today

  • “A fine evocation of place that becomes a meditation on the importance of a home, however harsh and evanescent.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “With a scientist’s exactitude, an artist’s attunement to beauty, and a storyteller’s enchantment, Proulx takes us through the building of a home, intimacy with place, and reclamation of the past.”

    Booklist

  • “Proulx [is] the laureate of the Wyoming outback and the Canadian shore…Her depictions of the Wyoming landscape in all its moods are in keeping with the best of the Western nature-writing tradition, full of celebration and evocation.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the January 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 6/27/2011

    " Self-indulgent crap. Loved loved LOVED The Shipping News. Found this absolutely intolerable, as Proulx bitches her way through custom building of her home in Wyoming. Dislike. Dislike. Dislike. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 6/12/2011

    " Too much griping, but her love of the surrounding area and wildlife are nice "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 6/12/2011

    " Annie Proulx reminds me of my sister and regards the environment in which she lives and works in a similar way. I found this book very interesting. She provides historical, geographical and environmental facts as well as reflections about architecture. I am an Annie Proulx fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alberta | 5/10/2011

    " A beautiful book in all of its descriptions, of family, history, building a house, and most of all the landscape of place in Wyoming. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 5/7/2011

    " The imagery Proulx uses in her writing, even in the most basic conversation, makes everything more beautiful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 4/26/2011

    " Some interesting parts. Some lyrical parts. Much I skimmed. But since we are building a house in a remote area, as Proulx has done, I enjoyed drawing comparisons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizpeveto | 4/26/2011

    " Non-fiction by this popular author about her building her dream home in Saratoga, WY. Discusses a variety of subjects including the difficulties of meshing all the different aspects of building, some birding, weather, opinions of various government agencies and delightful pencil sketches. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Francesca | 4/25/2011

    " Interesting and well written, but way too much on home construction for me. I preferred the stories about the nature around her and the history of the region. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kyla | 4/15/2011

    " I can do personal history and I can do renovation stories but this was some cranky mish-mash of the two that never really came together and left me with nothing but memories of a poorly stained cement floor. Disappointing. "

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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

Joan Allen has worked in theater, television, and film during her early career and achieved recognition for her Broadway debut in Burn This, winning a Tony Award. She has received three Academy Award nominations, including two for Best Supporting Actress for Nixon and The Crucible and one for Best Actress for The Contender. Her other films include The Ice Storm, Face/Off, Pleasantville, The Notebook, and The Bourne Ultimatum.