“A Gorgeous Meditation on Solitude
This inspirational memoir from award-winning poet, Karen Auvinen, chronicles forty seasons of “living wild” in the Colorado Rockies and the shifting landscapes of being alone. It traces her path her into the wilderness to seek answers to life’s big questions and follows as she finds her way back from losing everything she though she needed.
After a difficult childhood and already living in a small mountain town, Karen Auvinen flees to a primitive cabin in the Rockies to embrace all the beauty and brutality of nature has to offer and be a writer. But when a fire incinerates every word she has ever written and nearly all of her possessions—except for her truck and a few singed artifacts—Karen, along with her beloved dog, Elvis, must begin again, embarking 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 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 fantasize about disconnecting and living an authentic life. Rough Beauty is a luminous, lyric exploration of and homage to Karen’s 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.
Watercolor images by Greg Marquez