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Robert Michael Pyle - Magdalena Mountain Author Reading & Book Signing Sat. Dec. 15th at 2:00 PM

Magdalena Mountain by Robert Michael Pyle was beautifully highlighted in the November issue of Hipfish Monthly. Award winning author and local treasure Robert Michael Pyle will be reading excerpts from his amazing novel Magdalena Mountain at Friends of Skamokawa’s RiverLife Interpretive Center/Central School/Redmen Hall on Saturday December 15th 2:00 to 4:00 PM. It is always magical when Bob Pyle does a reading here during our holiday celebration. On a clear day, you can see the pink and orange sky sunsets over Vista Park, views of the river and more from Skamokawa's historically elegant gem, Queen Anne style building, built in 1894. We will be serving wine and hors d’oeuvres for your enjoyment.

Here is the piece from Hipfish Monthly featuring Robert Michael Pyle followed by praise and reviews:

"DRAFT AFTER DRAFT, ten in all, over a span of 42 years and fitting it in between all the nonfiction books, Robert Michael Pyle states of his first novel and twenty second published work, “I consider it my long apprenticeship in the art of fiction.” There is no better reader than Pyle of his own works—his fascination and passion that drive his scholarly prowess show up. And no one can better spice up the mating of two insects, in fact maybe even making human sexuality pale in comparison. Says author Molly Gloss, “Fans of Robert Michael Pyle’s nonfiction will not be surprised to find his first novel abounding in details of the natural world—lovingly described plant and animal and insect life across the changing of the seasons on a remote Colorado mountain. What they may not expect is the bold imagination he brings to these pages—an amnesiac who might be the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene, a pantheist colony of monks in cahoots with feminist antinuclear activists, a Yale graduate student on the trail of a mysterious hitchhiking lepidopterist! Magdalena Mountain is thoroughly original, and thoroughly Robert Michael Pyle.” As a boy, says Pyle, he had fallen in love with an all-black butterfly called the Magdalena Alpine, which haunted the high mountain rockslides in western Colorado where his family had a cabin. He thought he would write a juvenile book, much like one called, Wings in the Meadow, by friend and butterfly educator Jo Brewer, but about Magdalena and its dramatic habitat. He quickly got bored with this as it didn’t give him the scope to explore the creature and its life as deeply as he wished. He wanted to write about people too and how they and the black butterfly affected each other. In an interview with Bill Hamm for Coast Weekend, Pyle says, the challenge was becoming a fiction writer, “Early drafts were pretty wooden, characters were pretty flat, dialogue was pretty forced.” As a practiced writer of nonfiction and facts, it was a process of learning to trust the muse. Set in the 70’s when he began writing it, Pyle decided to stay with the setting. Nice. We don’t have to read about the characters social media habits. With the amalgam of colorful characters conjoining, one is reminded of the charm of Maupin’s Tales of the City, except this of course is tales of the mountain. And there is some upstaging of the Magdalena by some pretty serious roaches that character James Mead falls in love with. Of the numerous praise for Magdalena Mountain, The Chinook Observer says it best, “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 Bob’s knowledge of literature and biology.”

Praise for Magdalena Mountain:

“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

“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

“Magdalena Mountain is a remarkable melding of all the talents and passions of Bob Pyle. It will tingle your spine, even as it tickles your funny bone. “ —Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Piano Tide

“Robert Pyle is one of the best nature writers in the world, period.” —Brian Doyle, author of Mink River

What: Robert Michael Pyle reading excerpts from his new novel, Magdalena Mountain

Where: Friends of Skamokawa’s RiverLife Interpretive Center/Central School/Redmen Hall, 1394 W. State Route 4, Skamokawa, WA 98647 (An easy 1.5-hour drive from Astoria, go over the Megler Bridge, take a right to go towards Naselle, then go right onto State Route 4 towards Longview. Past Grays River, Deep River, just over the gentle mountain, is the magically unique and historic town of Skamokawa.

When: Saturday December 15th 2:00 -4:00 PM

Phone: 360-795-3007 Visit: 1394 SR4, Skamokawa



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