“Brokeback Mountain” is a heart-wrenching short story in part because of its density and one-sitting experience. This is an amazing feat. I mean, it’s so short, right? Normally you need the build-up of an entire novel to induce such strong reactions in readers. Or at least the soundtrack, cinematography and expert acting of a film. Annie Proulx’s short stories have the wordcount of short stories but the emotional resonance of epics.
“Brokeback Mountain” was published in the New Yorker in 1997, but came to most people’s attention in 2005 when it was adapted for screen and won critical acclaim.