book cover of Magdalena Mountain

Magdalena Mountain

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
"An elegant, eccentric novel of love, loneliness, and lepidoptera . . . Worthy company for work by other naturalist/novelists: Nabokov, Matthiessen, Kingsolver." - Kirkus Reviews

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 - Mary, a woman whose uncertain journey opens the book; Magdalena Mountain, shrouded in mystery and menace; and the all-black Magdalena alpine butterfly, the most elusive of several rare and beautiful species found on the mountain.

And high in the Colorado Rocky Mountain wilderness, sharing the remote territory of the Erebia magdalena butterfly, lives the enigmatic Oberon, a reluctant de facto leader of the Grove, a diverse community of monks who share a devotion to nature. Converging in the same wilderness are October Carson, a beachcomber-wanderer in pursuit of the alpine butterflies he collects for museums; James Mead, a young graduate student intent upon learning the ecology of this seductive creature; and Mary Glanville, who also seeks the butterfly but can't remember why.

While the mystery surrounding Mary takes a menacing turn, their shared quest pulls them deeper into the high mountain wilderness, culminating in a harrowing encounter on the stony slopes of Magdalena Mountain.


Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Robert Pyle is one of the best nature writers in the world, period." - Brian Doyle

"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. Enjoy!" - Molly Gloss

"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

"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


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Used availability for Robert Michael Pyle's Magdalena Mountain

Paperback Editions

August 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Magdalena Mountain: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Michael Pyle
ISBN: 1-64009-077-0 / 978-1-64009-077-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Counterpoint
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

August 2018 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Magdalena Mountain: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Michael Pyle
Publisher: Counterpoint
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU