Rough Beauty

Forty Seasons of Mountain Living

Rough Beauty

10 Best Books of June—Christian Science Monitor

In the bestselling tradition of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Helen MacDonald’s H Is for Hawk, a stunning, inspirational memoir from an award-winning poet who ventures into the wilderness to seek answers to life’s big questions and finds her way back after losing everything she thought she needed.

During a difficult time, Karen Auvinen flees to a primitive cabin in the Rockies to live in solitude as a writer and to embrace all the beauty and brutality nature has to offer. When a fire incinerates every word she has ever written and all of her possessions—except for her beloved dog Elvis, her truck, and a few singed artifacts—Karen embarks on a heroic journey to reconcile her desire to be alone with her need for community.

In the evocative spirit of works by Annie Dillard, Gretel Ehrlich, and Mary Oliver, Karen’s rich and compulsively readable memoir is as much an inward as it is an outward pilgrimage. Her pursuit of solace and salvation by shedding trivial ties and living in close harmony with nature, along with her account of finding community and love, is sure to resonate with all of us who long for meaning and deeper connection. Rough Beauty is a luminous, lyric exploration of and homage to her forty seasons in the mountains, embracing the unpredictability and grace of living intimately with the forces of nature while making peace with her own wildness.
  • Scribner | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501152283 | 
  • June 2018
List Price $36.00 (price may vary by retailer)

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About the Author

Karen Auvinen
Photograph by Rowan Turner

Karen Auvinen

Karen Auvinen is a poet, mountain woman, lifelong westerner, writer, and the author of the memoir Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living. Her body of work, which examines what it means to live deeply and voluptuously, 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.

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