Meet The Millennial Men Who Love Hillary Clinton

Mike* is a 25-year-old man from Seattle, Washington. He is also an unabashed fan of Hillary Clinton, and has been since the moment her 2016 presidential campaign kicked off.

“It’s all about experience and preparation. Hillary has been involved in politics on a national level for decades,” Mike told The Huffington Post.

“I’m very enthusiastic,” he added. “I’m all in for Hillary.”

It’s a sentiment you don’t hear a lot from young men, at least not in the media. Bernie had his “bros.” Trump has his. As for Hillary, well, she’s got women, the story goes and mostly older ones. (After all, as NPR reports, this election is poised to have the biggest gender voting divide in more than 60 years.)

But voters like Mike who are a) young b) men and c) enthusiastic Clinton fans? They’re seldom spoken of, unless it’s to express veiled surprise that, yes, a fair number of men support her candidacy. And while Clinton may not need the male millennial vote to win or “legitimize” her candidacy, it’s important to complicate the narrative that her success as a candidate rests solely on the shoulders of women especially because women bear the brunt of abuse for publicly supporting her.

Because many young millennial men do, of course, support Clinton, and some are becoming increasingly vocal about their enthusiasm as the general election inches into view. HuffPost Women spoke to several of them, and here’s what they had to say.

I’m with Sanders her

Many of Clinton’s vocal fans used to support Bernie Sanders. Sean Sanford, 29 also from Washington “jumped on the Bernie Bandwagon” early in the Democratic primary, he says, then switched his allegiance to Clinton after Sanders endorsed her. He’s not necessarily enamored with her personality, but he likes her platform.

“I’m allergic to the kind of support that is personality-based,” Sanford said. “I like to think that my decisions are more policy-based … and I find that I am becoming more vocal in support of her policies. I find myself trying to convince friends and family to vote for her rather than not vote at all.”

She is the most qualified for the job. – Danial, 26

Danial*, 26, was also a Sanders supporter, voting for him in the Ohio Democratic primary. But he was never a diehard “Bernie bro,” he says, and when it became clear Sanders was not going to win the nomination, Danial also threw his support behind Clinton.

“She is the most qualified for the job. I’m not as enthusiastic as I was about Barack Obama, but there’s no doubt in my mind that she is reasonable and really qualified to handle the position,” he said.

Danial has been in an ongoing argument with his brother, who was also a Sanders supporter and now intends to vote for Trump. Seeing his brother’s conversion has compelled him to speak out in favor of Clinton.

“I always thought people would look at how Trump behaves and how he treats others, and his positions on his key issues and they’d think, ‘OK, I can’t support this guy. I may not be thrilled with Hillary, but at least she’s a stable candidate stable person,’” he said. “And I’m just not seeing that. It became really terrifying, almost, with my brother, because you can point out all the flaws that disqualify [Trump] from being president, and it’s like he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t care.”

Others, like Mike, say they’ve taken heat from friends and families for being Clinton supporters all along. At times during the Democratic primary campaign, he found the amount of pro-Sanders/anti-Clinton rhetoric being expressed in his social media circles almost “overwhelming.” He was surprised that people in his life simply assumed that as a liberal, millennial man living in uber-liberal Seattle, he would support Sanders without question.

“At a certain point I said, you know what? I try to avoid being overly political in my social media presence, but I want to make a stand,” Mike said.

The response was mixed. Friends who were Sanders supporters commented questioning Clinton’s authenticity. Some questioned Mike’s personal “authenticity” as a progressive. Others messaged him privately on Facebook, admitting that they were Clinton supporters, too, but they weren’t necessarily willing to talk about it openly.

A glimpse at the double standard

Mike adds that the experience of supporting Clinton has made him even more aware of just how difficult it is to be a woman in power.

“Guys like Trump can raise their voice and say all kinds of incendiary things, and Bernie can mess his hair up and wave his arms in the air,” he said. “If Hillary did those things, she would get a lot more criticism for how she presents herself. As a woman in power, seeking to hold the nation’s highest office, she has to find this very fine balance.”

When I talk to people about [Hillary Clinton’s] success, they will quickly attribute it to her powerful husband. But if you dig in and study her life and accomplishments, you see that every inch of progress shes made has been earned. Dave, 28

Dave,* 28, a vocal Clinton supporter from New York who admits he sometimes feels like an outlier, says that when he talks to people who are anti-Clinton about why he personally supports her, they tend to diminish her accomplishments.

“When I talk to people about her success, they will quickly attribute it to her powerful husband. But if you dig in and study her life and accomplishments, you see that every inch of progress she’s made has been earned, and every time she’s gotten knocked down, she has gotten right back up,” he said. Dave likens her to the protagonists in the sports movies he grew up loving, like Rocky and Rudy a true underdog who has persevered and is on the cusp of what was once thought of as impossible.

Then there’s Joshua Inocencio, 26, from Texas, who was a fan of both Sanders and Clinton early on in the primary season, but as of last fall became a full-fledged Clinton supporter. He is gay, and got into arguments with friends who objected to Clinton’s changing position on same-sex marriage, among other things. But ultimately Inocencio was swayed by her policies and by her gender.

“I really value someone who is as detailed as she is on how she is going to accomplish everything. She’s a policy wonk, and that’s what I look for when I look at candidates,” he said. He’s found it striking that many voters will support a candidate, like Trump, who is inexperienced politically while Clinton must be extremely qualified.

“I do think that some not all, but some of the vitriol against Clinton does have to do with the fact that she’s a woman. Policy-wise and culturally, we do not treat women well in this country. Having a woman become the most powerful person in the world will be hugely significant,” he said.

“You know, in 2008 any time a prominent African-American voted for Obama, there was [this idea] of, ‘Well of course they voted for him, because they’re both black.’ … People are already saying the same thing about Clinton and women,” he said. “On the one hand, it’s not surprising because she is centralizing important issues, like equal pay and women’s health. So it’s important that women are supporting Hillary. And it’s important for me, and for any man who is supporting her, to say that.”

Or, as Reductress reminds us: You can vote for Clinton and still keep your d*ck.

* Only first names have been used to protect anonymity. 

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Washington party shooting suspect read AR-15 gun manual right before attack

Police say Allen C Ivanov killed three people, including ex-girlfriend, and he bought the semiautomatic rifle about a week before shooting

A 19-year-old man who shot and killed three people Saturday at a party in suburban Seattle was so unfamiliar with his newly purchased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that he parked his car across the street and read the firearms instruction manual just before the attack, police made public on Monday.

Allen C Ivanov was arrested by state troopers on Interstate 5 more than 100 miles from the scene in Mukilteo, a north Seattle suburb, authorities said.

Police wrote, in a probable-cause statement released on Monday, that Ivanov confessed to the killings and that he did it because he was angry that his ex-girlfriend, Anna Bui, seemed to be moving on with her life after their recent breakup. She was one of the victims.

The document also indicated that Ivanov gave a few indications of his troubling intent: he texted someone last week in Tennessee regarding committing a mass shooting; he posted on Twitter, Whats Ruger gonna think an apparent reference to the manufacturer of his rifle; and he told his supervisor at an electronics store on Friday that the previous night he had put the rifle in the trunk of his car and gone to a quiet spot and just sat.

Ivanov was scheduled to make a court appearance later Monday. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Ivanov had bought the assault-style weapon about a week before the attack, saying he planned to use it for target practice and that he had signed up for a gun-safety class this month, the Mukilteo police detective John Ernst wrote in the probable-cause statement.

Ivanov stated that he showed up to the homicide scene at approximately 2200 hours, and parked across the street and watched, Ernst wrote. He said that he creeped up toward the house and saw A with another male and got angry. He said that he returned to his car, read the instruction manual for the rifle, loaded the magazine, placed the magazine in the rifle, and sent the rifles selector switch to safe. He then returned to the victim house property.

Ivanov told detectives he creeped around the back of the house and hid near the living room windows, where he was eventually discovered by one of the young men attending the party.

The male said, No, no no, Ernst wrote. Ivanov stated that he was scared, he flipped the selector switch to fire and shot the male. He stated that at that point it was too late to turn back, and once he had pulled the trigger his adrenaline kicked in.

Ivanov said he entered the house through a side door, found Bui and shot her twice, then continued through the house, saw through the front door another man running toward the house and shot him, according to the probable-cause statement. From a balcony off the master bedroom, he said, he shot at two more men in the driveway before going on to the roof, realizing his magazine was empty and fleeing.

In addition to Bui, of Everett, Jordan Ebner, of Lake Stevens, and Jacob Long, of Everett, were killed. They were all 19 and recent graduates of Kamiak high school in Mukilteo, a waterfront city of 21,000 people.

A fourth person, 18-year-old Will Kramer, was wounded and remained in serious condition Monday at Harborview medical center in Seattle.

Bui and Ivanov were students at the University of Washington.

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Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame | Fox News

July 24, 2016: National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Mike Piazza, left, and Ken Griffey Jr. hold their plaques for photos after the induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y. (AP)

Two players who began their careers at opposite ends of the spectrum nearly three decades ago ended up in the same place on Sunday with their names etched on plaques at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, the culmination of their long journeys was tinged with tears all around.

“I stand up here humbled and overwhelmed,” Griffey said, staring out at his family and tens of thousands of fans. “I can’t describe how it feels.”

The two became a piece of history on their special day. Griffey, the first pick of the 1987 amateur draft, became the highest pick ever inducted. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick the next year No. 1,390 is the lowest pick to enter the Hall of Fame.

Griffey played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball’s so-called Steroids Era.

A 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs. He also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards.

Griffey, who fell just three votes shy of being the first unanimous selection, hit 417 of his 630 homers and won all 10 of his Gold Gloves with the Seattle Mariners. He played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Mariners and led them to the playoffs for the first two times in franchise history.

“Thirteen years with the Seattle Mariners, from the day I got drafted, Seattle, Washington, has been a big part of my life,” Griffey said, punctuating the end of his speech by putting a baseball cap on backward as he did throughout his career.

“I’m going to leave you with one thing. In 22 years I learned that one team will treat you the best, and that’s your first team. I’m damn proud to be a Seattle Mariner.”

Dubbed “The Natural” for his effortless excellence at the plate and in center field, Griffey avoided the Hall of Fame until his special weekend because he wanted his first walk through the front doors of the stately building on Main Street to be with his kids, whom he singled out one by one in his 20-minute speech.

“There are two misconceptions about me I didn’t work hard and everything I did I made look easy,” Griffey said. “Just because I made it look easy doesn’t mean that it was. You don’t become a Hall of Famer by not working, but working day in and day out.”

Griffey’s mom, Birdie, and his father, former Cincinnati Reds star Ken Sr., both cancer survivors and integral to his rise to stardom, were front and center in the first row.

“To my dad, who taught me how to play this game and to my mom, the strongest woman I know,” Junior said. “To have to be mom and dad, she was our biggest fan and our biggest critic. She’s the only woman I know that lives in one house and runs five others.”

Selected in the draft by the Dodgers after Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, a close friend of Piazza’a father, Vince, put in a good word, Piazza struggled.

He briefly quit the game while in the minor leagues, returned and persevered despite a heavy workload as he switched from first base to catcher and teammates criticized his erratic play.

Mom and dad were foremost on his mind, too.

“Dad always dreamed of playing in the major leagues,” said Piazza, just the second Hall of Famer depicted on his plaque wearing a Mets cap, after Tom Seaver in 1992.

“He could not follow that dream because of the realities of life. My father’s faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame. Thank you dad. We made it, dad. The race is over. Now it’s time to smell the roses.”

Piazza played 16 years with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics and hit 427 home runs, including a major league record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the top five of his league’s MVP voting four times.

Perhaps even more impressive, Piazza, a .308 career hitter, posted six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average (all other catchers in baseball history combined have posted nine such seasons).

Though the Dodgers gave him his start, Piazza found a home in New York when he was traded to the Mets in May 1998.

Three years later, he became a hero to the hometown fans with perhaps the most notable home run of his career. His two-run shot in the eighth inning at Shea Stadium lifted the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first sporting event played in New York after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Piazza paid tribute to that moment.

“To witness the darkest evil of the human heart … will be forever burned in my soul,” Piazza said. “But from tragedy and sorrow came bravery, love, compassion, character and eventual healing.

“Many of you give me praise for the two-run home run in the first game back on Sept. 21st, but the true praise belongs to police, firefighters, first responders that knew that they were going to die, but went forward anyway. I pray that we never forget their sacrifice.”

Attendance was estimated at around 50,000 by the Hall of Fame, tying 1999 for second-most all time.

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All Eyes Were On Anna Faris & Chris Pratt’s Son At Seattle Festival

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt made an appearance at the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle over the weekend, but it was their son, Jack, who had heads turning.

The Hollywood couple, dressed appropriately in Seattle Seahawks jerseys, rode in on the grand marshal’s black corvette with their little boy, waving to the crowd. Three-year-old Jack, dressed in a captain’s outfit and holding a Minecraft toy sword, sat atop his dad’s lap and pointed to the spectators as they drove by. By the look of these photos, both father and son were having a great time.

Suzi Pratt/Getty Images
Chris Pratt and son Jack Pratt ride in the Seafair Torchlight Parade Grand Marshal vehicle on July 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

Suzi Pratt/Getty Images
We can’t handle the cuteness.

Suzi Pratt/Getty Images
The whole family.

Suzi Pratt/Getty Images
The cutest captain.

The Seattle parade is the latest adorable outing for the famous family. A couple months ago, the trio enjoyed an outdoor camping adventure  complete with homemade sand demons  and we’ll never forget that time Pratt taught their son how to fish. Too cute.

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‘Senior Dogs Across America’ Tells The Beautiful Stories Of Aging Pets

“My interest in the world of the senior dog began as my own dogs began to approach the end of their days,” photographer Nancy LeVine explains in a blog post. “This was at a time when I had lived enough years to start imagining my own mortality. I entered a world of grace where bodies that had once expressed their vibrancy were now on a more fragile path.”

LeVine is the artist and author behind Senior Dogs Across America, a compilation of photos and stories dedicated to “anyone who has ever loved a dog, young or old.” LeVine traveled across the country to meet her aging canine subjects, hitting cities and towns like Kauai, Hawaii; Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; and Natchez, Mississippi. Her book showcases just 86 of the images she captured, which pay simple tribute to the pets who have remained loyal, happy and persistent as they’ve matured alongside their human companions.

Nancy LeVine
Ginger, 12 1/2 years old, Devils Tower, Wyoming.

”I saw how the dog does it,” Levine continues on her blog. “How, without the human’s painful ability to project ahead and fear the inevitable, the dog simply wakes to each day as a new step in the journey. Though their steps might be more stiff and arduous, these dogs still moved through each day as themselves — themselves of that day and all the days before.”

The dogs in LeVine’s series sit atop tractors in Wyoming, lay upon stoops in Maryland, attempt to squeeze themselves onto chairs in Colorado. Their poses and expressions remain eerily similar to those of humans, as they gingerly approach LeVine’s lens, stare confidently into the camera, or calmly ignore their surroundings in favor of perfect tranquility. They demonstrate what it is we love about the pets who’ve stuck by our sides for the years we, too, have aged.

“They remind us of the best in ourselves,” the book’s publisher, Schiffer, writes. “And as they lose their vigor and youth, they reflect our own inevitable aging with courage and calm.”

Nancy LeVine
Cecelia, 12 years old, Baltimore, Maryland.

There are millions of adult dogs who need homes today. For more on the allure of adopting an older pet, check out our past coverage here. You can see more photos from Senior Dogs Across America below. The book is available now through Schiffer Publishing.

Nancy LeVine
Murphy, 10 years old, Milford, Connecticut.

Nancy LeVine
Joon, 16 years old, Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Nancy LeVine
Lucy(age unspecified).

Nancy LeVine
Englebert, 9 years old; Hercules, 17 years old; climber Eeoyore, 14 years old; Denver, Colorado.

Nancy LeVine
Wally, 14 years old, Ferrida, Louisiana.

Nancy LeVine
Rex,18 years old, Seattle, Washington.

Nancy LeVine
Cooper, 15 years old, New York, New York.

Nancy Levine
Photographer Nancy LeVine.

Nancy LeVine

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The odd and alarming connection between racial biases and the perception of time.

You’re walking in front of a lot of people. You tell yourself, “Don’t trip. Don’t trip.” But what happens?

GIF from “The 85th Academy Awards.”

That anxiety is real. You’re so worried about embarrassing yourself or doing something wrong that you get distracted and make careless mistakes.

It happens to the best of us.

But instead of anxiety about embarrassing yourself in public, think about the anxiety some white people may have about appearing racist.

Their intentions are good. (But you know what they say about good intentions.) They don’t want to mispronounce a name, say something even remotely offensive, or appear the least bit uninformed. They have black friends honest-to-goodness black friends!

GIF from “Happy Endings.”

But when some white people interact with people of color, they’re so nervous about appearing racist, their anxiety can shoot through the roof.

Their heart may race, muscles may tense up, and according to a study released last fall, it can also screw with their perceptions of time.

Social psychologists at Lehigh University explored the idea of race-related anxiety and perceptions of time, and the results are fascinating.

First, they asked a group of volunteers (24 women and 16 men) to complete a questionnaire measuring whether or not they were motivated to control their racial biases. Then, they put the volunteers in front of a computer and displayed geometric images followed by black faces and white faces with neutral expressions. The shapes appeared for exactly 600 milliseconds. The faces appeared for 300 to 1200 milliseconds. It was up to the volunteers to determine whether they thought each face was given more or less time than the shapes.

The result? Volunteers mistook short amounts of time for longer ones when viewing the black faces. Their heightened arousal caused them to perceive time slowing down. The findings were confirmed with a second set of volunteers, this time 36 white men.

Why did this happen? Lead researcher Dr. Gordon Moskowitz believes it’s likely due to race-related anxiety (or what some refer to as “white fragility”). People are so worried about making a mistake and appearing racist, they get nervous and can trip themselves up and do just what they were trying to avoid.

GIF from “Parks & Recreation.”

Ironically, people trying to suppress the appearance of bias are most likely to display this form of implicit bias because their motivation to control prejudice induces race-related arousal, Moskowitz wrote in the study results.

OK, but who cares if race-related anxiety can make time seem to speed up? Why does that matter? Ask a black kid with his hands in the air.

There are many situations where this time perception can be troubling. Consider the white employer who guesses she met with a black job applicant for 30 minutes, when it was really closer to 10.

Or the doctor who was supposed to spend five minutes assessing his black patient, but really spent just a minute or two.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Or the police officer who might give a black teen three seconds to drop the object in his hands, but shoots after one.

The consequences of this misperception can range from a perceived slight or minor inconvenience to death.

It may sound like a big jump, but consider this:

Bryant Heyward, a black homeowner in South Carolina, called 911 to report a home invasion. When police arrived on the scene, Deputy Keith Tyner took less than two seconds to fire his weapon to “suppress the threat.” The threat in this case was Heyward who stepped outside to greet the officers while holding his brother’s gun. Though the gun wasn’t pointed at the officers, Deputy Keith Tyner shot twice because Heyward didn’t drop his weapon quickly enough.

Mind you, according to the dash cam, the entire incident took two seconds.

Though Heyward survived, he is paralyzed and may not walk again.


Systemic racism, white fragility, and implicit biases affect us in ways we’re only beginning to discover.

When you realize some of these biases might be embedded at a borderline chemical level, they can seem impossible to overcome. But none of these findings excuse poor behavior, inattention, abuses of power, or murder. Race-related anxiety is just one more thing to work through on the road to equality. We can and will get there.

Tackling white fragility is the best place to start. Frank and open discussions about whiteness, privilege, and microaggressions can loosen the stranglehold these implicit biases have on our society and culture. It’s easier said than done but programs, like Portland Community College’s Whiteness History Month, are creating safe spaces to do just that.

Instead of worrying about making mistakes, we need to do right by our friends and neighbors, put our hang-ups aside, and start looking out for one another.

A Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images.

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SEA Dota 2 team TNC Gaming qualify for TI6, European winner to be crowned soon

Dota 2 team TNC Gaming fought through the South East Asian qualifier to secure the first non-invitee spot in the International 6.

With an impressive win-loss record of 7-2, they found themselves in a three-way tie with qualifier favorites Fnatic and Execration for first place in the round robin group stage. TNC were up for the challenge, however, and after two gruelling 50-plus minute games they secured the top position in the group and became the first team to qualify for the almost $14 million event.

Eleven more teams will be joining TNC from the regional qualifiers, which consists of one round robin group stage. The winners of the groups receive a spot at the International 6 in Seattle, Washington, starting August 3. To fill out the remaining spots after the group stage, the qualifiers then sees the teams that placed between second and fifth proceed into a double-elimination bracket. The winners of the bracket stage will also qualify. Finally, the runner-up of each double-elimination bracket will be attending the tournaments offline Wildcard event in Seattle, which will be played a few days ahead of the main event.

While the first day of the regional qualifiers saw a fair amount of upsets across the board, the second day has been completely off the rails in comparison. TNCs victory can definitely be considered an upset given the international experience Fnatics roster currently possesses. But the biggest surprises yet come from the European qualifiers.

In a three-way tie for first place, Team Secret, Escape Gaming, and Fantastic Five are currently fighting for the spot at the International 6. An unexpected turn of events given Fantastic Five and Escape Gamings lack of previous results in large-scale tournaments.

Along with the impressive performance from the new blood, we are also seeing more established names struggle heavily. The most apparent being and Team Empire, two of the most prolific teams out of the Russian-speaking Dota 2 scene, who have already been eliminated in the qualifiers group stage, and will not be attending the main event in Seattle.

The teams that qualify for the International 6 will join six invited teams at the main event. This includes: OG, Team Liquid, Newbee, LGD, MVP.Phoenix, and Na`Vi. While all of the aforementioned teams have performed well over the past few months, there was some controversy surrounding Valves decision to invite Na`Vi, as there are arguably teams that have been more successful throughout 2016.

Europes round robin tiebreaker is happening right now, tune into the Twitch stream to see who will join TNC in Seattle.

Photo via Valve (Licensed)

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Annie Proulx: Ive had a life. I see how slippery things can be

At 80, Annie Proulx is as acute (and prickly) as ever. As her latest book, Barkskins, is published, Lucy Rock visits her woodland home to talk trees, Trump and why shes bored with navel-gazing novels

Annie Proulx loves trees. For the past 10 years she has studied them, written about them and travelled the world looking at them. Recently she moved to a house set in a forest of lofty red cedars. It was here she discovered that not all trees love her.

Ive been sick since Ive arrived, she tells me as we settle into comfy grey sofas at her home 20 miles outside Seattle, Washington. Finally we figured out that, ironically, Im really allergic to red cedar, which is all around me. It brings on asthma and other symptoms. It affects my whole immune system, so I have to pull up stakes and go somewhere else where it wont follow me.

The Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain has created an oasis here, amid her five acres of woodland. Shrubs and saplings have been planted in the gardens, encouraging unwelcome visits from nibbling deer and even a bear. The four-bedroom wooden house (yes, red cedar, she thinks) has been renovated inside using natural tones and materials creamy walls, slate and wood for the floors. We sit in front of a stone fireplace flanked by well-stocked bookshelves and a coffee table where A History of Mens Fashion tops another pile of books. Picture windows frame views of the distant Cascade Mountains. Its cosy and serene.

But she plans to move to New England, where she and her four younger sisters lived as children, and one sister lives still. While she doesnt relish the upheaval, shes not wedded to Washington especially not Seattle, the thriving tech city where she briefly lived.

Its just a place that is more irritating to me than anything else, she says with a tiny shudder. Its one eternal traffic jam and everything seems mismanaged. I get tired of seeing people high-fiving each other. Its full of techies; its just bursting with tech people. My own son is one, so I cant complain.

Proulx moved to Washington two years ago after selling her beloved Bird Cloud, the house she built on 640 acres of wetlands, prairie and cliffs in Wyoming. She wrote about the painstaking two-year process it was completed in 2006 in her eponymous memoir of the place. That home suited her love of the natural world and the rural and remote, the usual subjects of her writing. I ask why she decided to leave and she replies with a shot of sarcasm. Because I sold it and the new owner didnt particularly want me there as well.

She pauses, then: I dont know. Ive asked myself that a thousand times. There was a lot of driving, hours and hours of driving, to get decent groceries and get anything done, to see the dentist blah blah blah. I do miss it, every part of it.

Married and divorced three times, Proulx lives alone; her youngest son, Morgan, the techie, lives in Seattle and stays over most weeks. She will clearly miss his visits when she goes. By her own admission in Bird Cloud, Proulx is bossy, impatient, reclusively shy, short-tempered and single-minded.

She might be 80, but shes far from ready to slip into retirement. While her skiing, hunting and canoeing days are behind her, shes physically fit (apart from the tree allergy). Her mind still buzzes with story ideas. Her look is unfussy and unchanged: salt-and-pepper cropped hair, black-rimmed glasses, no jewellery, simple grey sweater and trousers. Her home is the same: tidy, tasteful and functional.

We meet to talk about her latest book, Barkskins, a 700-page novel of high drama whose theme is deforestation. It starts with two Frenchmen in the late 17th century, Ren Sel and Charles Duquet, arriving in New France (now the United States and Canada), where they work as woodcutters for a feudal lord. Sel marries a woman from the indigenous Mikmaq people, while Duquet runs away and sets up a successful timber company. The book recounts the displacement and resettlement of multiple generations of each man, finishing in 2013. It charts their travels across North America, China, Europe and New Zealand and includes all manner of violent deaths. All this is set against the destruction of the worlds forests where they make their livings and which they believe to be infinite.

Its kind of an old-fashioned book, Proulx says. Its long; it has a lot of characters; it takes a big theme. It isnt a navel-staring, dysfunctional-family thing thats so beloved of most American writers. Its different, but I think people probably miss those books that were written some time ago the big book that was written with care.

Riding high: Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lees 2005 film based on Proulxs short story. Photograph: Kimberly French/AP

It has been a decade in the making, during which time she has read countless historical documents, diaries and rare books on forestry. I was trained as a historian, so thats what I love to do, she says. (It isnt all shes been doing in her 70s: as well as writing Bird Cloud, she has also edited a book on the Red Desert in Wyoming, published a collection of short stories and written the libretto for an operatic version of Brokeback Mountain.)

The deforestation is what Barkskins is all about, she says. There are two epigraphs in the book. One of them is the key to the book, but nobody reads epigraphs, which is fine by me.

I cant remember them either. Er, can you expand on that? I ask.

No. Silence. I swallow.

Its on a page at the front where the epigraphs go She shrugs her shoulders, staring at my discomfort. I am transported back to the classroom.

I find the quote later. Its taken from a 1967 essay written by the historian Lynn Townsend White Jr in which he put forward the idea that Christianity was the root of the ecological crisis: By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.

Ask Proulx about something shes not keen to talk about and there is a pause before she answers coolly and sparingly. I enquire about her children and she gives the briefest details. Her daughter, Muffy, by her first husband (whom Proulx dropped out of college to marry when she was just 20), stayed with her father when they divorced after five years. Proulx married again in the 60s and had three sons Jonathan, Gillis and Morgan before divorcing and marrying for a third time in 1969.

Wild at heart: Proulx as a young woman camping
in the woods near her home. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

She once said that she grew up in an era when you were supposed to get married, adding: I dont think I was a particularly good or diligent mother. It took a long time for the obvious to become obvious: I could not operate in a conventional family.

These days, Proulx says, she and her children enjoy regular get-togethers. I get along with all my children rather well and they like each other, which makes me very happy. You want them to be friends as well as relatives.

Find the right subject and Proulx is stimulating company: animated, occasionally passionate and wryly amusing. We talk about climate change. She tells me about an initiative to restore the number of monarch butterflies by urging gardeners to plant milkweed. Are people doing enough, I ask. Some people are, but most people couldnt care less about it. They would give you a blank stare if you mentioned that monarch butterflies need milkweed to complete their life cycle.

I mention the Paris climate change agreement signed by 177 countries last April. Too late, she thinks. Some of the countries that are now in play in the world economy and culture dont have an interest in those things. They are still happy to rip out their raw materials and natural resources for things like refrigerators and iPhones. They dont seem to get that there isnt any more.

Her voice rises: Nobody can visit the big trees again; the huge forests do not exist. The understorey has gone, and the smaller plants and animals the ecosystem has been damaged. Change is right with us, and you can get frightened. I ask if the thought of Donald Trump, a denier of manmade climate change, in the White House frightens her. I think the country has more or less brought this on themselves, she says. I dont have personal feelings about it because thats not who I am, but I am watching.

Winds of change: at home in Vershire, Vermont, back in 1994. Photograph: Toby Talbot/Associated Press

Proulx finds her strengths harder to list than her faults, but she thinks shes a good observer. Im one of the ones at a party where you can always tell the writer because Im leaning against the wall watching everybody else have fun.

Her self-confessed shyness is easy to misinterpret it as crotchetiness. Look at her reaction to literary prizes. I know that one should feel grateful and pleased and delighted, and jump up and down and scream, but I couldnt do it. As for women-only prizes, harrumph. This has always bothered me, the division: as though there was something about women who write that is very different.

For Proulx writing is all about the making of the object. I look on it as a craftsman would making a table. Her research is meticulous. She visited all the countries that feature in Barkskins. Shes a frequent, intrepid traveller, thanks to a pioneering spirit instilled as a child when her family moved many times Vermont, North Carolina, Maine and Rhode Island because of her French- Canadian fathers job with a textile company.

She ended up with an abundance of material and had to cut 150 pages from the first draft, a process she describes as maddening. My editor, Nan Graham, was absolutely wonderful, but I hated her deeply while we were doing this because she wanted to take out some of my favourite things. A lot of the deforestation material went.

While much of the book is bleak, there are moments of dark humour. I mention finding an incident involving a wig amusing. Shes delighted. Do you? Good, my editor wanted to cut that. Youre a Brit, thats why.

Proulx was a latecomer to the literary world, publishing her first novel, Postcards, when she was 56. She had abandoned a PhD in the mid-70s to support her family by scraping an income as a freelance journalist, writing about everything from apples to mice and canoeing, and producing how-to books on cider making and DIY. During these years, with her third marriage disintegrating, she lived a back-to-the-land lifestyle with her boys, moving around several backwoods towns in Vermont where she fished, hunted and gardened. She later described herself to an interviewer in the early- 90s as wild at this time, her examples including: throwing a knife at (and thank God missing) someone I thought I hated; driving north in the south-bound lane; hanging out with a wide variety of rough dudes in a wide variety of situations.

In 1988 her first collection of stories was published and the novels that followed brought her instant acclaim. She has no regrets that success came late. You have time to have a life, to see change, to understand a bit how people work, how the world works, how society works, how things shift around, how slippery things can be, everything from politics to personal relationships. Its a great advantage to have that stuff under your belt when you start to write.

Talking with Proulx is like reading one of her books: bracing yet rewarding. She speaks as she writes, and lives the same way: with measured efficiency and flashes of mischievous humour.

As our interview comes to an end, she picks up A History of Mens Fashion and flicks through the pictures. Chuckling at an artist in a garish shirt, she says: I dont remember his work, but who could forget that haircut? I ask if shes interested in fashion. Only for the sake of characters. I like them to have the clothes they might have worn.

Then its back to the trees. She gamely agrees to pose for photographs amid the red cedars. The photographer had set up his equipment before he knew of her allergy and she wont hear of him moving it. It takes a day or so before they affect me. The bear could get me first, she jokes as we walk outside, before adding wistfully: I love the way they look. Its too bad they make me miserable.

Barkskins by Annie Proulx is published by Fourth Estate at 18.99. To order a copy for 15.19, go to

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These Are The Airports To Avoid This Summer

Taylor Swift crooned “Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you” with enough gusto to make anyone want to hop a flight ASAP. But it’s people who plan on visiting New York this summer that are likely to be doing the waiting. just released its 2016 summer airport delay report, based on six years of Department of Transportation data from about 50 of the busiest airports in the U.S. The site calculated things factors including where you’ll wait the longest to take off (New York’s JFK and LaGuardia), the longest wait to get to the gate (Los Angeles’ LAX) and the most miserable airport overall, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
Sorry, Newark. You’ve been named the “most miserable airport” of summer 2016.

New York/New Jersey-area airports are widely known for being, well, less than perfect — just ask Joe Biden — and MileCards’s findings reflect that notion. LaGuardia, JFK and Newark all rank in the top five for most miserable, with take-off waits at LaGuardia and JFK up to three times longer than waits at the fastest airports for taxi time, Dallas and Houston.

The report’s misery score, which is pretty much what it sounds like, was calculated by adding an airport’s on-time arrival ranking with half of its take-off wait ranking and half of its landing wait ranking for a maximum score of 100. Newark earned a whopping 95 points on the Misery Index scale, followed by JFK, LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare with 94 each and Boston Logan at 84.

It’s not all bad news, though. Travelers interested in visiting Honolulu, Hawaii this summer might be happy to learn its airport was ranked number one for on-time travel, followed by Salt Lake City, Utah and Seattle, Washington.

The site also found June is the worst of the summer months for air travel thanks to its high delayed flight rate. And while JFK is ranked among the worst, it saw the most improvement in delay time in the past five years, alongside Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

Check out the best and worst airports for on-time travel below, and head to to see the entire report.

Portland refers to Portland, Oregon. 

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