Annie Proulx: That Old Ace in the Hole

(1354 words)

That Old Ace in the Hole (2002) is Annie Proulx’s fourth novel, but, in the wake of its publication, she declared that it would be her last. She would, she stated, write short stories in the foreseeable future (she has published three collections of short fiction so far). Indeed, the short-story form exerts a powerful influence on the shape and tone of this longer work. The novel follows the fortunes of Bob Dollar, a directionless young man from Denver who enters the tightly-knit community of Woolybucket, a small town in the Texas panhandle. He becomes fascinated, and ultimately redeemed, both by its inhabitants and their sense of their own history and connection to the land. In its broad outline, then, the novel has …

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Hughes, Rowland. "That Old Ace in the Hole". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 August 2008
[, accessed 14 October 2015.]