9781857029406 / 1857029402

Brokeback Mountain


Publisher:Fourth Estate



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About the book:

Winner of the US National Magazine Award following its publication in The New Yorker in 1997, Annie Proulx's novella Brokeback Mountain follows her international success with The Shipping News and Accordian Crimes, confirming her status as one of the most powerful and accomplished voices in contemporary American fiction. With remarkable economy of style, Proulx traces the story of a "pair of deuces going nowhere", Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar, two ranch hands brought together in the desolate, beautiful landscape of Wyoming.

Herding sheep together on Brokeback Mountain in the spring of 1963, Ennis and Jack's companionability gradually develops into an intense sexual intimacy, much to the apparent surprise of both men. Proulx presents a devastating study of Jack and Ennis' subsequent struggle with both their families and their work as they try to come to terms with their sexual relationship--as it develops alongside their studiedly macho world of drinking, fighting, horses and rodeos, which are brought vividly, and often humorously to life.

In exploring the intimacies and sexual pleasures emerging from this masculine world, Proulx captures with terrible poignancy the destruction and isolation which comes from both men's disavowal of their homosexual desire, a dilemma which is movingly described in the novella's tragic denouement. Looking back on his doomed relationship with Jack Twist, Ennis del Mar reflects:

There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.
Brokeback Mountain is a remarkable exploration of the convergence of pain and isolation at the point where desire and disavowal come together between men. Annie Proulx once again at her best. --Jerry Brotton

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