Martin Marten: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I love nearly all of Doyle's books, but this is my absolute favorite! Luminous, ecstatic vignettes on the natural world, community, love, joy and wild creatures!

— From Ty's Picks



Dave is fourteen years old, living with his family in a cabin on Oregon’s Mount Hood (or as he prefers to call it, like the Multnomah tribal peoples once did, Wy’east). Dave will soon enter high school, with adulthood and a future not far off—a future away from his mother, father, his precocious younger sister, and the wilderness where he’s lived all his life.

And Dave is not the only one approaching adulthood and its freedoms on Wy’east that summer. Martin, a pine marten (of the mustelid family) is leaving his own mother and siblings and setting off on his own as well.

As Dave and Martin set off on their own adventures, their lives, paths, and trails will cross, weave, and blend. Why not come with them as they set forth into the forest and crags of Oregon’s soaring mountain wilderness in search of life, family, friends, enemies, wonder, mystery, and good things to eat?

Martin Marten is a braided coming-of-age tale like no other, told in Brian Doyle’s joyous, rollicking style.

About the Author

BRIAN DOYLE (1956-2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He was the author of six collections of essays, two nonfiction books, two collections of “proems,” the short story collection Bin Laden’s Bald Spot, the novella Cat’s Foot, and the novels Mink River, The Plover, and Martin Marten. He is also the editor of several anthologies, including Ho`olaule`a, a collection of writing about the Pacific islands.

Doyle’s books have seven times been finalists for the Oregon Book Award, and his essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion, The American Scholar, The Sun, The Georgia Review, and in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times, The Times of London, and The Age (in Australia). His essays have also been reprinted in the annual Best American Essays, Best American Science & Nature Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies.

Among various honors for his work is a Catholic Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, the John Burroughs Award for Nature Essays, Foreword Reviews' Novel of the Year award in 2011, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008 (previous recipients include Saul Bellow, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, and Mary Oliver).

Praise For…

“Doyle is a born storyteller. . . . Life in the Northwest woods may be fanciful in Martin Marten, but the characters emerge true as rain.” —The Seattle Times

“A rich, wise tale of two creatures from different species whose lives run parallel to each other.” —Shelf Awareness

“Flows along absorbingly, avoiding sentiment while imparting a quiet acceptance of the rhythms of the natural and human worlds. Highly recommended; even city slickers can love.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Brian Doyle seeks that magical connection with the reader and, in Martin Marten, is wonderfully successful in his effort.” —Portland Book Review

“[Doyle’s] a guy with a penchant for piquant detail, and possibly a cosmic agenda. When you finish reading a novel by Doyle, you’re bound to feel more attuned to the universe.” —Kitsap Sun

Martin Marten is a joyous celebration of the complexities of life told by a master storyteller. You will want to share it with your family and friends.” —Neil Abramson, author of Unsaid

Martin Marten is a daring and delightful creation. As well as any novelist working today, Brian Doyle blends animal and human kingdoms into a seamless hopeful narrative overflowing with the wonderment of life. So artfully does he weave the feelings and impulses of his imagined people and wildlife that Doyle himself must be half-man, half-critter. Martin Marten should be required reading for all humans.” —Jim Lynch, author of the novels Truth Like the Sun, Border Songs, and The Highest Tide

“Brian Doyle's gorgeous new novel is a hypnotic, luxurious journey through our natural world--a mind-bending celebration of how sweet each day can be. Martin Marten is composed with musical prose and sparkling, quirky characters who remind us that humanity is still capable of great good, and bliss might well lie just beyond our own back doors. A modern day Siddhartha set in the lush Pacific Northwest, Martin Marten awakens readers to the interconnected worlds that define the landscape of one glorious mountain, and the common boundaries of its infinite souls.” —Carol Cassella, author of Gemini

“Behold a tale both wonderful and wise about the mysteries of adolescence, the interconnectedness of the natural world, and the nature of existence itself. Insightful, heartwarming, and beautifully written, Brian Doyle's Martin Marten will have you cheering for characters across the species divide.” —Brian Payton, author of The Wind Is Not a River

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250081056
ISBN-10: 125008105X
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English