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July 10, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE SHIPPING NEWS by E. Annie Proulx (Touchstone: $12.; 337 pp.) Proulx won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for this quirky novel about a two-bit reporter discovering the redemptive power of love. A lumpish bear of a man, Quoyle hides a gentle heart within his bulk; a heart that was cruelly abused by his promiscuous wife, Petal Bear, "a curious equation that attracted many mathematicians." After her death, Quoyle moves with his two daughters and aged aunt to his ancestors' home in a remote Newfoundland village. Sheltered by the tiny community, he learns that love is not necessarily linked to misery. Proulx's staccato, fragmented prose captures the repressed feelings of the latently talented Quoyle, who rises above the people who ridicule him in an oddly heartening story.

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