12/04/2018 - 6:30pm
“This novel is a fast-paced light-hearted frolic, equal parts nature study, biological inquiry, mystery of identities, and eco-feminist manifesto . . . Humor and wit bubble up throughout, aided by the vast range of [Pyle's] knowledge...” —Chinook Observer “The first novel from prolific nature writer Pyle is bathed in exquisite and venerating descriptions of nature, wildlife, and pristine environments . . . His contemplative novel will be a treat for readers who delight in the tranquility of nature.” —Publishers Weekly In Magdalena Mountain, Robert Michael Pyle’s first and long-awaited novel, the award-winning naturalist proves he is as at home in an imagined landscape as he is in the natural one. At the center of this story of majesty and high mountain magic are three Magdalenas—a woman, whose uncertain journey opens the book; a mountain, shrouded in mystery and menace; and the all-black Magdalena butterfly—elusive, rare, and beautiful. Sharing this remote territory are a diverse community of monks; a specimen collector intent on capturing the butterflies for museums; a graduate student studying their ecology; and a woman driven to wander, seeking the butterfly without quite remembering why. When the woman's mystery takes a menacing turn, these diverse characters are pulled into a shared quest and harrowing wilderness encounter on the stony slopes of Magdalena Mountain. “Only Robert Michael Pyle could’ve written this daring novel. He’s walked in the boots of his colorful characters, whether strolling across the Yale campus or chasing rare butterflies in the wilds. He masterfully describes the seasonal nuances of a singular mountain. His love and exquisitely detailed understanding of the natural world fills these pages.” —Jim Lynch, author of Before the Wind Robert Michael Pyle grew up and learned his butterflies in Colorado, where he fell in love with the Magdalena Alpine and its high-country habitat. He took his Ph.D. in butterfly ecology at Yale University, worked as a conservation biologist in Papua New Guinea, Oregon, and Cambridge, and has written full-time for many years. His twenty-two books include Wintergreen (John Burroughs Medal), Where Bigfoot Walks (Guggenheim Fellowship), and Sky Time in Gray's River (National Outdoor Book Award). He lives in rural southwest Washington State and still studies butterflies.