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In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years—their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions—the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.

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Acerca de Annie Proulx

Edna Annie Proulx is an American journalist and author. Her second novel,

    Barkskins Comentarios

  • Will Byrnes

    ...the newcomers did not care to understand the strange new country beyond taking whatever turned a profit. They knew only what they knew. The forest was there for them. Barkskins is Pulitzer Prize...

  • Zoeytron

    Grrrrrr . . . . I am throwing in the towel on Barkskins after 120 pages. I am not enjoying it, and this is not how I want to spend the next week or so of my reading time. This bottomless pile of minut...

  • Hannah Greendale

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.René Sel and Charles Duquet arrive in New France as young men to work for a seigneur. In exchange for three ye...

  • Fran

    Barkskins is a sweeping saga recounting the ecological costs of progress. Forests are destroyed and Native Americans are marginalized. Reminiscent of James Michener's "Centennial" the author reminds u...

  • Perry

    Awe-Inspiring, Far-Reaching Epic of Descendants of 2 French Settlers, Charles Duquet & Rene' Sel, in 1693 New France (now in Nova Scotia) and Destinies Over Next 320 YearsI enjoyed this sweeping epic ...

  • Doug H - On Hiatus

    I Couldn’t Enjoy The Forest For The TreesAnnie Proulx is a great writer. I have tremendous respect for her and The Shipping News (winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book ...

  • Ron Charles

    At more than 700 pages, covering three centuries, “Barkskins” is an awesome monument of a book, a spectacular survey of America’s forests dramatized by a cast of well-hewn characters. (Scribner)...

  • Hugh

    What an extraordinary book. It encompasses the history of the major North American forests from the 17th century to the present day, and combines this with two loosely connected family stories. This o...

  • Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)

    This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.There aren’t an abundance of Canadian history novels of this type, so I jumped on this book like Torontonian spotting a Tim Horton’s on...


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