Proulx’s first non-fiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of building that house with its solar panels, a Japanese soak tub, a concrete floor, elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets, an enthralling natural history and archeology of the region inhabited for thousands of years by Ute, Arapaho and Shoshone Indians.
Bird Cloud is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and 400 foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the first day she visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She knew she had to purchase the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she would build on it a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character with a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen. ISBN 9780743288811.
Bird Cloud is also a family history, going back to nineteenth century Mississippi river boat captains and Canadian settlers. An illuminating autobiography. Annie Proulx, a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and compassion, turns her lens on herself. We understand how she came to be living in a house surrounded by wilderness, with shelves for thousands of books and long worktables on which to heap manuscripts, research materials and maps, and how she came to be one of the great American writers of her time.
Annie Proulx published her first novel at the age of 56. In 2005, her novel Brokeback Mountain was made into an Oscar-winning film.