January 11, 2012

The Shipping News

Annie Proulx's The Shipping News is just one of an impressive slew of novels set in Canada, including many mysteries and novels-with-a-mystery-edge. Two of the best from recent years are Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves and Giles Blunt's Forty Words for Sorrow. These novels combine so many great elements: cold, snow, danger, endurance, mystery. Just that string of words alone is great. I could open a novel whose entire contents was


and I'd enjoy it. 

The Shipping News encompasses many of these elements and (slight spoiler alert) one of my favorite themes as well: the struggle of someone who is deeply, deeply steeped in sorrow and the possibility of emergence into happiness.

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