OCTOBER 17-20, 2019

and year round


The Mountain - Paul Yoon - <span class="date-display-single">11/04/2017 - 3:00pm</span>

The Mountain

11/04/2017 - 3:00pm

Central Library - The Bubbler

Paul Yoon displays his subtle, ethereal, and strikingly observant style with six thematically linked stories in The Mountain. It’s a luminous collection set across several continents—from the Hudson Valley to the Russian Far East—and periods of time after World War II, populated with characters who are connected by traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace. Though singular, they are united by the struggle to reconcile their pasts in the wake of violence, big and small, spiritual and corporeal. A morphine-addicted nurse wanders through the decimated French countryside in search of purpose; a dissatisfied wife sporadically takes a train across Spain with a much younger man in the wake of a building explosion; a from Korea to Shanghai, where she aimlessly works in a camera sweat shop, trying to outrun the ghosts of her past.


Yoon’s restrained voice and perceptive observations about violence—to the body, the landscape, and ultimately the human soul—weaves throughout this collection. Hailed by New York magazine as a “quotidian-surreal craft-master” and a “radiant star in the current literary firmament” by The Dallas Morning News, Yoon realizes his worlds with the quiet, insightful, gorgeous, and distinctly literary voice that has made him a standout critical darling.

Paul Yoon

About Presenter Paul Yoon


Paul Yoon was born in New York City. His first book, Once the Shore, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, a Best Debut of the Year by National Public Radio and won a 5 under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation. His novel, Snow Hunters, won the 2014 Young Lions Fiction Award. He is a former fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and his stories have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, VQR, the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Short Stories. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is currently a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University along with his wife, the writer Laura van den Berg.


The Mountain

Madison Public Library logo

201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703


join the conversation #wibookfest

we couldn't do it without you: