"Annie Proulx (b. 1935) was born in Norwich, Connecticut, the oldest of five sisters. Her mother was a painter and amateur naturalist whose family had lived in Connecticut since 1635 as farmers, millworkers, inventors, and artists. Her father was the vice president of a textile company, and the Proulx moved frequently - North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island. Proulx attended Colby College, the University of Vermont, and Concordia University, earning a B.A. and an M.A., as well as passing her doctoral oral examinations in history.
In 1975, with few teaching jobs available, she abandoned work on her Ph.D. and began a perilous career in freelance journalism. In the 1980s she published six ""how-to"" books on a variety of subjects, including Plane and Make Your Own Fences and Gates, Walkways, Walls and Drives (1983). During this time she also raised her three sons from her third marriage while living in an isolated cabin in a rural town in Vermont.
Supporting herself and her sons on her meager income as a journalist, Proulx began to write stories for fun, creating one or two a year. Most of these early stories were written for a men's magazine about hunting and fishing, where her first editor told her that she had to publish under a masculine name, ""something like Joe or Zack, retrievers' names,"" she complained. They compromised on using her initials, E. A. Proulx, the E standing for her first name, Edna.
In 1983 and 1987, two of her stories were listed among the ""Distinguished Short Stories"" in Best American Short Stories. In 1988, Proulx published her first book of fiction, the nine stories set in northern Vermont constituting Heart Songs and Other Stories. Two of her three novels, Postcards (1992), and The Shipping News (1994), won prestigious awards?the PEN/Faulkner, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. "