"'It was all a hard, fast ride that ended in the mud:' Deconstructing the Myth of the Cowboy in Annie Proulx's Close Range: Wyoming Stories" examines a relatively under-discussed collection of Proulx's stories in an effort to show how Proulx complicates the national myth of the cowboy figure. In constructing complex characters who struggle to live with and against the narrow definitions of masculinity offered by the mythical cowboy figure, Proulx draws attention to how this dominant style of masculinity aims to maintain control in this rural Wyoming space. This process of normalizing dominant masculinity functions as the primary cause of anguish for women and men with alternative masculinities and disrupts notions of a US cultural narrative that often positions whiteness and attributes associated with cowboy masculinity at the forefront of national identity.