The author won the Pulitzer Prize as E. Annie Proulx for her novel The Shipping News. As just Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain is her astonishing new work of fiction. Barely 10,000 words long it nevertheless encompasses a world and two lives.
Brokeback Mountain is set in the beautiful, wild landscape of Wyoming where cowboys live as they have done for generations. Hard, lonely lives in unforgiving country. Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar are two ranch hands – ‘drop-out country boys with no prospects, brought up to hard work and privation, both rough-mannered, tough spoken’ – glad to have found each other’s company where none had been expected. But companionship becomes something else on Brokeback Mountain, something not looked for, something deadly. In twenty years they grab just a few desperate meetings, grace only in the memory of ‘that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong.’