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Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Barkskins by Annie Proulx  

Barkskins opens in New France in the late 18th century as Renae Sel, an illiterate woodsman makes his way from Northern France to the homeland to seek a living. Bound to a 'seigneur' for three years in exchange for land, he suffers extraordinary hardship and violence, always in awe of the forest he is charged with clearing. Proulx tells the stories of Renae's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as the descendants of his friends and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions--war, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals. Proulx's inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid--in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope--that we follow them with fierce attention.

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