Event information: https://sfpl.org/quickview/62531
An evening with Alix Christie discussing her new book The Shining Mountains in conversation with Alison Hart, poet and author of Mostly White.
The year is 1838. A young Scotsman forced from his homeland arrives at Hudson’s Bay. Angus McDonald is contracted to British masters to trade for fur. But the world he discovers is beyond even a Highlander’s wildest imaginings: raging rivers, buffalo hunts, and the powerful daughter of an ancient and magnificent people. In Catherine Baptiste, kin to Nez Perce chiefs, Angus recognizes a kindred spirit. The Rocky Mountain West in which they meet will soon be torn apart by competing claims: between British fur traders, American settlers, and the Native peoples who have lived for millennia in the valleys and plateaus of the Shining Mountains’ western slopes.
In this epic family saga, the real history of the American West is revealed in all its terror, beauty, and complexity. The Shining Mountains brilliantly limns a world now long forgotten: of blended cultures seeking allies, trading furs for guns and steel, and a way of life in collision with westward colonial expansion.
Author Alix Christie is the direct descendant of Angus McDonald’s brother Duncan. Her debut novel, Gutenberg’s Apprentice, was published by Harper Books in 2014. For the past thirty years she has reported for newspapers in California and from Europe as a foreign correspondent, including for the Washington Post, the Guardian of London, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon.com. She currently reviews books and arts for The Economist.
Author Alison Hart’s work centers on her Black and Indigenous ancestors from New England, intergenerational/historical trauma, mixed-race identity, and uncovering the brutal truth of American history. National Book award-winning author Isabel Allende introduced Alison and her debut novel Mostly White (Torrey House Press, 2018) at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA. Isabel Allende praised Mostly White as: “So compelling it gave me goosebumps from the very first lines.” In addition, Alison was featured at the San Francisco 2019 Lit by The Lake event with esteemed authors Vanessa Hua, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Jenny Odell and Saul Lelchuck. Other works include a poetry collection, Temp Words (Cosmo Press, 2015) and selected poems in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry in California (Scarlet Tanager, 2016). Hart served as the poetry editor for the 2022 edition of caesura (Poetry Center San Jose, 2022). Hart studied theater at Tisch School of The Arts, New York University (B.F.A.), and education at Saint Mary’s College (M.A.). She identifies as a mixed-race Passamaquoddy Native American, Irish, Black, Scottish, and English woman of color. She is an author, musician, music educator and mother.