Karen Auvinen - Reading & Signing

Join BookBar in welcoming author Karen Auvinen! She'll be reading from her latest book, ROUGH BEAUTY: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living, a lyrical and compulsively readable rumination on the uncontrollable forces of nature and the unyielding force of a wild human spirit.

About the Book:

A child of the Air Force, Karen Auvinen was torn from one home to another, learning not to get too attached. Nearing forty, she settles down to write in an isolated cabin in the Rockies, full of the beautiful artifacts she has collected throughout her life: a priceless collection of over a hundred cookbooks (of which many are out of print), a gorgeous farm table made of oak, and her great-grandmother’s nineteenth-century Finnish confirmation bible. While she’s delivering mail along her rural route in the mountains, her cast iron stove burns her home down, leaving nothing but a frying pan, a mug, and the ashes of her incinerated poetry floating through the air “haunting the landscape.”

In ROUGH BEAUTY, Auvinen examines her life’s journey to the point of the fire while beginning a new adventure that rebuilds her life, reconciles with her past, and even finds love. Recording forty seasons of living at 8,500 feet alone (save for her beloved husky Elvis), Auvinen lets readers experience the joy of deep winter’s silence, the beauty of walking through the thawing grasslands in spring, and the thrill of waking up to a brown bear tapping at your door.

Gorgeous and hypnotic, ROUGH BEAUTY is a book that will inspire readers to look outside their comfort zone to seek the unknown, both inward and in the great outdoors.

“ These outstanding autobiographical essays explore solitude, traumatic events, and a deep commitment to place. The author has served a long apprenticeship—sensing life's patterns, becoming embedded in a human community, learning to give and receive love—and the result is a beautiful story of resilience perfect for readers of Terry Tempest Williams. A fine example of the hybrid nature-memoir.”–Kirkus, starred review

“…beautiful, contemplative…This breathtaking memoir honors the wildness of the Rockies and shows readers how they might come to rely on their animal companions.

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[Auvinen] portrays the passing seasons with a keen eye and poetic admiration. In her skilled words, an encounter with a bear becomes a profound moment to treasure, and the loneliness of winter, with its anticipation of spring, is rendered both beautiful and desolate. Tender and sincere, Rough Beauty is a lovely tribute to inner strength."


“Rough Beauty indeed. The passages about fire knocked my hat off. Terrifying yet lovely. Karen Auvinen is an American maverick. Vital, wild, and true.”
—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway, Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America

“This beautiful and elemental book is an invitation into a life of nature and ritual.  Rough Beauty has the power to change lives. It stands as an antidote to the hurried way we rush through our days.”
—David Gessner, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West

About the Author:

Karen Auvinen is a poet, mountain woman, lifelong Westerner, and writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times as well as numerous literary journals. A former Artist-in-Residence for the State of Colorado, Karen is the winner of two Academy of American Poets awards and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in fiction. She earned her MA in poetry from the University of Colorado-Boulder, under the mentorship of Lucia Berlin, and went on to earn her PhD in fiction writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, she teaches film and popular culture at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Event date: 
Saturday, July 7, 2018 - 7:00pm
Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501152283
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 5th, 2018