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Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide


"The Shipping News" by E. Annie Proulx



• Future Chobani CEO Ulukaya moves to U.S. with $3,000 and no English
• Violence Against Women Act
• Darnell Martin first Black woman to direct major movie



E. Annie Proulx’s grandparents lived in Quebec; she grew up in New England. She was a single parent who supported her family as working as freelance journalist and producing “how-to” books. Proulx created her own local newspaper, the Vershire Behind the Times. She’s physically fit, though says her canoeing days are behind her.


Featured Reader Wanted!

Featured Reader

– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.


Single dad moves to Newfoundland with daughters, aunt, family secrets


Reporter/inexperienced sailor rescued after his shoddy $50 boat capsizes.


Chapters begin with a related explanatory nautical trivia, such as a knot-tie how-to. Remote Newfoundland setting puts the spotlight on how much people in a small town know about each other and family histories, the role of small town newspapers and how the fishing industry has changed.


352 pages or a long car ride (13 hours on 11 CDs)


It’s OK to move on. Your people and your happiness just might be somewhere else.


The one character identified by race in the novel is a Black man, who helps, befriends, and mentors a poor, lonely man in a laundromat. Hidden abuse and same-sex relationship.


Come in from the fog, the cold and a high seas adventure that turned up a severed head in a suitcase and have a squid burger or some moose meatballs with gravy and mashed potatoes.


“Was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? Some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. And among the common bull's-eyes and peppermints a few rare ones; one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought calm and gentle pleasure.” 


Tape pictures from the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourist Board website on your windows.


When/how should children be involved in funerals?
What do employers owe their employees?
When an industry is dying, what should the government do?
How can news coverage create a more inclusive society?
What is your responsibility – and society’s -- toward elders, people with Down’s syndrome?
Compare the needs and challenges of people who live in isolated communities to those who live in urban settings?
How are people who work in various types of dangerous professions viewed?


First, make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date, then drive from somewhere near fictional Mockingbird in upstate New York to the ferry Newfoundland ferry dock. Think about your past, your mom and lost love. Stay in seedy motels; eat in dicey diners.


2001 “The Shipping News” film


2005 “Brokeback Mountain”

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