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Cover for At the Gate of All Wonder

At the Gate of All Wonder

Kevin McIlvoy


List Price: 17.95*
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Samantha Peabody, a seasoned bio-acoustician and eccentric recluse living in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, recalls in this journal-like novel her year with two children who accompanied her in a “Sonic Adventure Program,” deep in the woods. Spending time with the girls, eight-year-old Betty and six-year-old Janet, Sam must confront her conscience in light of an ever-widening communion with the forest around them.

This is the tale of an aging adult and two troubled children and their shared journey to compassion. In its uncanny texture and structure, the novel contemplates the transformations possible for those who listen to — and truly hear — the sounds of wilderness, where one’s true nature sings.

Praise For At the Gate of All Wonder

At the Gate of All Wonder is a layered tale that bears examination, and reward is in the re-reading. What a sharp-eyed reader finds in this book today may not be what she finds tomorrow. There is inspiration in these pages. A reader might want to keep it by her side and see what shows up.” — Kathryn Schwille, Charlotte Lit

“Deeply odd, wonderfully original, At the Gate of All Wonder has the power of fresh myth. From these enchanted woods we emerge, as we do after leaving the worlds of Joy Williams’s The Changeling or Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children, terrified, illuminated, struck all over again by the wonders of the natural world and the passionate strangeness of familial love.” —Andrea Barrett

“What a strange and miraculous book this is. The soundscape of deep woods, children in training to hear beyond the hearable, their cosmically cranky instructor, petty and lethal revenge on all sides: somehow a novel has been made out of this. Don’t expect to emerge from it unchanged.” —Joan Silber

Tupelo Press, 9781946482143, 239pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2018

About the Author

Kevin McIlvoy’s previous books are A Waltz (Lynx House, 1981), The Fifth Station (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1987), Little Peg (Atheneum, 1991), Hyssop (TriQuarterly, 1998), The Complete History of New Mexico (Graywolf, 2005), and 57 Octaves Below Middle C (Four Way, 2017). He teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Warren Wilson College and lives near Asheville, North Carolina.