The success of The Shipping News and the film of Brokeback Mountain brought Proulx international recognition, but their success merely confirms what literary critics have known for some time: Proulx is one of the most provocative and stylistically innovative writers in America today. She is at her best in the short story format, and the best of these are to be found in her Wyoming trilogy, in which she turns her eye on America's West-both past and present.
Yet despite the vast amount of print expended reviewing her books, there has been nothing published on the Wyoming Stories. There is appetite for such a work; the plethora of critical work on McCarthy's Border Trilogy indicates that the reinvention of the West is a subject for serious academic study. Annie Proulx's Wyoming Stories fills this critical void by offering a detailed examination of the key stories in the trilogy: Close Range (1999) , Bad Dirt (2004), Fine Just the Way it Is (2008). The chapters are arranged according to western archetypes-the Pioneer, Rancher, Cowboy, Indian, and, arguably, the most important character of them all in Proulx's fiction: Landscape. Annie Proulx's Wyoming Stories offers students a clear sense of the novelist's early life and work, stylistic influences and the characteristics of her fiction and an understanding of where the Wyoming Stories, and Annie Proulx's work as a whole, fits into traditional and contemporary writing about the American West.