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Postcards

Postcards

  • reading group guide
From the bestselling author of The Shipping News comes Postcards, the tale of the Blood family, New England farmers who must confront the twentieth century -- and their own extinction. As the family slowly disintegrates, its members struggle valiantly against the powerful forces of loneliness and necessity, seeking a sense of home and place forever lost.
Loyal Blood, eldest son, is forced to abandon the farm when he takes his lover's life, thus beginning a quintessentially American odyssey of solitude and adventure. Yearning for love, yet forced by circumstance to be always alone, Loyal comes to symbolize the alienation and frustration behind the American dream.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684800875 | 
  • August 1994
List Price $18.99

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Reading Group Guide

Postcards
Annie Proulx
Introduction
His trouble seemed to shift rather than repair.
When Loyal Blood accidentally kills his girlfriend, he abandons his family farm in Vermont and sets out on a journey across America that will continue for the rest of his life. The only communication he has with his family is in the form of postcards of which he sends with no return address. Because of this, he will never learn of his father's suicide, the loss of the farm, his sister's marriage, or his mother's tragic death. Alternating between Loyal's misadventures-including everything from being trapped in a mine to being scalped by an Indian-and the misfortunes of the family he leaves behind, Postcards chronicles the disintegration of the farming industry as well as the fate of the Bloods who must adapt to the new realities of post-World War II life or face their own extinction.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Postcards is a compelling tale of the dark side of the American dream and "marks Proulx as a gifted prose stylist who renders her characters on the page to mesmerizing effect" (San Francisco Chronicle).
Discussion Questions:
1. For Loyal, what was "the moment when everything shifted, when the route of his life veered away from the main line"? Do you think that he is to blame for the tragic events that befall his family after he leaves the farm-his brother and father being arrested for arson, his see more

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About the Author

Annie Proulx
Gus Powell

Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx is the author of eight books, including the novel The Shipping News and the story collection CloseRange. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story “Brokeback Mountain,” which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Her most recent book is Fine Just the Way It Is. She lives in Wyoming.

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