The Shipping News
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Shipping News is a celebration of Annie Proulx’s genius for storytelling and her vigorous contribution to the art of the novel.
Quoyle, a third-rate newspaper hack, with a “head shaped like a crenshaw, no neck, reddish hair…features as bunched as kissed fingertips,” is wrenched violently out of his workaday life when his two-timing wife meets her just deserts. An aunt convinces Quoyle and his two emotionally disturbed daughters to return with her to the starkly beautiful coastal landscape of their ancestral home in Newfoundland. Here, on desolate Quoyle’s Point, in a house empty except for a few mementos of the family’s unsavory past, the battered members of three generations try to cobble up new lives.
Newfoundland is a country of coast and cove where the mercury rarely rises above 70 degrees, the local culinary delicacy…[more]
Fans of Lasse Hallström’s truffle, Chocolat, may enjoy the director’s subsequent novel adaptation, the emotionally charged Shipping News. The opening sequence introduces us to the bumbling Quoyle (Kevin Spacey), an ink setter at the Poughkeepsie News; his hedonistic wife Petal Bear (Cate Blanchett); and their daughter Bunny. But we hardly get to meet the characters, much less connect with them, in the fewer than eight minutes allotted for the scene. Before you know it, Petal is dead in a car wreck, Quoyle’s parents have committed suicide, and…