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ande
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#22 Annie Proulx and Auntie/Gone fishin' -- see you July 14th

[ Edited ]

NOTE: I'll be on vacation till July 14th. See you then.

 

 

Annie Proulx and Auntie

 

A few weeks ago an elderly relative in Fort Lauderdale happened to mention a terrific short story, by Annie Proulx, that had been in the previous week’s issue of the New Yorker. I hadn’t read it, but since Auntie has a great brain and I am a big fan of both Auntie and Ann Proulx I had to take a look.

 

Auntie, as usual, was right. It was a wonderful story. Actually, an amazing story filled with another usual Proulxian(?) cast of characters and several things that rip your heart out when, of course, you aren’t laughing at the other several things.

 

So it turns out that Auntie didn’t know that Annie Proulx wrote books. So I said, Auntie, you must read her books, which are filled with all the ingredients you love so much in that short story.

 

And now a short digression so that you understand why Auntie couldn’t run right out and buy AP’s books or go to a library to get them Auntie is a modern medical mystery and miracle. Three years ago her cancer –- once “cured” – metastasized and she received a grim prognosis. She went through more grueling chemo but then said “no more.” Her doctor warned her that without treatment –- which, by the way, was causing damage to other organs -- she wouldn’t last long and die a painful and miserable death. She said: so be it.

 

Auntie is a very independent woman. Divorced long ago, she has lived a very active life with lots of great friends nearby. So she decided to get her affairs in order. She sold her car and was so sick of all the spam and stupid jokes forwarded to her that she got rid of her computer and cancelled her internet service. But Auntie had the last laugh: her tumors TOTALLY disappeared. And they haven’t come back. She told her doctor she’d be in touch when she felt poorly and never to mention chemo again.

 

Auntie doesn’t have a tremendous amount of energy and she prefers to spend time at home with the occasional dinner out. She doesn’t live near a bookstore and without the internet she can’t order on line. Her neighbors’ taste in books is more along the lines of Danielle Steel, which isn’t her thing. So wanting to keep life simple my husband and I said: Not to worry. We will send you books.

 

As you know if you’ve been following along these many weeks there’s no shortage of books, advance reading copies in my home or bookstores in my neighborhood.

 

The first package contained:

 

The Shipping News (Proulx)

That Old Ace in the Hole (Proulx)

Water for Elephants (Gruen)

The Spirit of the Place (Shem)

 

The second contained:

 

The Lace Reader (Barry)

The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich,

   and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation (Gillon)

The Stories of Eva Luna (Allende)

The Namesake (Lahiri)

 
Feedback time
Samuel Shem, author of The Spirit of Place, really enjoyed talking with all of you and said he learned so much about Orville and the book as a whole from you. Some things are so obvious to a reader that you can't believe that they are not to the author who made it all up in the first place.
 
How did it work for you? I ask because this was the first Book Explorers book giveaway and maybe we'll do it again this fall if there is interest. Some of you didn't participate even though you asked for and were sent a book. What kept you from jumping in?
 
As usual, I am dying to know.
 
Ande




Message Edited by ande on 07-03-2008 12:36 PM
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moeh
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Hello,
While I am not new to the book forums, I am a "lurker".  I truly enjoy the discourse.  However, I am compelled to respond to the delightful story of your Auntie.  What a wonderful upbeat story. She is truly an inspiration. I am a nurse and see patients "fight" or sometimes "give-up" when a terminal diagnosis is given. All my best to your Auntie and happy reading to her!
Melissa_W
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

I think the whole thing worked very well.  Sorry about the silence on my end - between rising water and crazy things happening at work I wasn't able to synthesize much more than "I like where this is going" and couldn't put together anything much more intelligent.  I'm glad Shem was able to interact with everyone.
 
Your story about Auntie is wonderful - I'm glad she is doing well.

ande wrote:

Annie Proulx and Auntie

 

A few weeks ago an elderly relative in Fort Lauderdale happened to mention a terrific short story, by Annie Proulx, that had been in the previous week’s issue of the New Yorker. I hadn’t read it, but since Auntie has a great brain and I am a big fan of both Auntie and Ann Proulx I had to take a look.

 

Auntie, as usual, was right. It was a wonderful story. Actually, an amazing story filled with another usual Proulxian(?) cast of characters and several things that rip your heart out when, of course, you aren’t laughing at the other several things.

 

So it turns out that Auntie didn’t know that Annie Proulx wrote books. So I said, Auntie, you must read her books, which are filled with all the ingredients you love so much in that short story.

 

And now a short digression so that you understand why Auntie couldn’t run right out and buy AP’s books or go to a library to get them Auntie is a modern medical mystery and miracle. Three years ago her cancer –- once “cured” – metastasized and she received a grim prognosis. She went through more grueling chemo but then said “no more.” Her doctor warned her that without treatment –- which, by the way, was causing damage to other organs -- she wouldn’t last long and die a painful and miserable death. She said: so be it.

 

Auntie is a very independent woman. Divorced long ago, she has lived a very active life with lots of great friends nearby. So she decided to get her affairs in order. She sold her car and was so sick of all the spam and stupid jokes forwarded to her that she got rid of her computer and cancelled her internet service. But Auntie had the last laugh: her tumors TOTALLY disappeared. And they haven’t come back. She told her doctor she’d be in touch when she felt poorly and never to mention chemo again.

 

Auntie doesn’t have a tremendous amount of energy and she prefers to spend time at home with the occasional dinner out. She doesn’t live near a bookstore and without the internet she can’t order on line. Her neighbors’ taste in books is more along the lines of Danielle Steel, which isn’t her thing. So wanting to keep life simple my husband and I said: Not to worry. We will send you books.

 

As you know if you’ve been following along these many weeks there’s no shortage of books, advance reading copies in my home or bookstores in my neighborhood.

 

The first package contained:

 

The Shipping News (Proulx)

That Old Ace in the Hole (Proulx)

Water for Elephants (Gruen)

The Spirit of the Place (Shem)

 

The second contained:

 

The Lace Reader (Barry)

The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich,

   and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation (Gillon)

The Stories of Eva Luna (Allende)

The Namesake (Lahiri)

 
Feedback time
Samuel Shem, author of The Spirit of Place, really enjoyed talking with all of you and said he learned so much about Orville and the book as a whole from you. Some things are so obvious to a reader that you can't believe that they are not to the author who made it all up in the first place.
 
How did it work for you? I ask because this was the first Book Explorers book giveaway and maybe we'll do it again this fall if there is interest. Some of you didn't participate even though you asked for and were sent a book. What kept you from jumping in?
 
As usual, I am dying to know.
 
Ande



Message Edited by ande on 06-30-2008 05:56 PM

Message Edited by ande on 06-30-2008 06:01 PM


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Thank you for writing! I thought it was a great story to share and am so glad you thought so, too. Auntie's a truly wonderful woman. Hope you'll visit again.
 
Ande
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

That's right -- you're in Iowa. How's it going?
 
Ande
Melissa_W
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Pretty well, considering.  The University is holding full classes, even with 16 buildings closed due to flood damage, and all the roads are re-opened with the exception of one low-lying area.  Businesses and homeowners are cleaning up as best they can - in some places the cities are looking into property buy-outs where the damage (and risk of future damage) is so great the structures are unsafe to even enter.
 
It smells like a sewer some days, but since Iowa has plenty of livestock operations that's not an entirely unbearable smell :smileyvery-happy:

ande wrote:
That's right -- you're in Iowa. How's it going?
 
Ande



Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Hang in there. Until one lives through one of these disasters it's hard to know the full effect. How about your home?
 
Ande
Melissa_W
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Oh, my house is nice and dry.  I'm so far above the water table (and have a gully behind the house) that if my house floods we would need an ark!

ande wrote:
Hang in there. Until one lives through one of these disasters it's hard to know the full effect. How about your home?
 
Ande



Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

That's a relief!
 
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thewanderingjew
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

[ Edited ]
just wanted to say that i have been a bit of a voyeur on your website but i enjoy your posts. you are very warm and the website is friendly. i will try and stop by more often! also, i think your aunt is an inspiration to a lot of people. why doesn't she get back on the internet and start a blog for people like herself. i bet there are quite a few. when my mother-in-law was alive, she had a friend who was in hospice on dialysis. she signed herself out and said c'est la vie, also. when my mother-in-law passed, that woman was still kicking around! there are miracles if we look hard enough.
twj

Message Edited by thewanderingjew on 07-04-2008 04:05 PM
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Thank you so much for you kind and generous thoughts. A doctor friend says that medicine is an imperfect science. Regarding your mother-in-law's friend: Art Buchwald, the longtime humor columnist had a very  similar experience and lived long beyond what everyone had expected. Who knows why this occurs? Our spirits? Our own biology makeups? In any case, as long as quality of life is good it can be a gift.
 
As for Auntie: she certainly has a lot to say but she's more of a telephone communicator than a writer. Right now she is adjusting to still being around. She and I were talking the other day and she was making a dental app't to have a tooth filled that she hadn't seen any reason to bother with when she thought her time on earth was short. And she needs new patio furniture (she thought that would outlast her, too).
 
By the way, so far her favorite of all the books I have sent: Water for Elephants.
 
As for you: I certainly can understand why you may look but not post. Before Book Explorers I never participated in this sort of thing. But I wish you would stop by more often!
 
Ande
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

...so far her favorite of all the books I have sent: Water for Elephants.

thanks for your kind words. i loved water for elephants also. i read nicole krauss', the history of love at around the same time and really liked that too. have you read that?
twj
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ande
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Re: #22 Annie Proulx and Auntie

Not yet. But it is in the house on the shelf of books I really want to read. Sigh.
 
Ande