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Martin Marten
Cover of Martin Marten
Martin Marten
A Novel

WINNER OF THE LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

Dave is fourteen years old, eager, and headlong. He is about to start high school, which is scary and alluring. Martin is a pine marten, a small, muscled hunter of the deep woods. He is about to leave home for the first time, which is scary and thrilling. Both of these wild animals are setting off on adventures on their native Mount Hood in Oregon, and 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 the mountain and into the bruising wilderness of love, 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. Two energetic, sinewy, muddled, brilliant, creative animals, one human and one mustelid—-come sprint with them through the deep, wet, green glory of Oregon's soaring mountain.

WINNER OF THE LESLIE BRADSHAW AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

Dave is fourteen years old, eager, and headlong. He is about to start high school, which is scary and alluring. Martin is a pine marten, a small, muscled hunter of the deep woods. He is about to leave home for the first time, which is scary and thrilling. Both of these wild animals are setting off on adventures on their native Mount Hood in Oregon, and 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 the mountain and into the bruising wilderness of love, 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. Two energetic, sinewy, muddled, brilliant, creative animals, one human and one mustelid—-come sprint with them through the deep, wet, green glory of Oregon's soaring mountain.

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About the Author-
  • BRIAN DOYLE (1956-2017) was the longtime editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is 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).

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2014
    Published by an academic press, the luminously written "Mink River" was a dead giveaway that Doyle had a big literary future ahead of him, and he proved himself nicely with last year's "The Plover". His new novel again enfolds nature, offering the parallel coming-of-age tales of 14-year-old Dave and furry little Martin, who is (yes) a marten, a woodlands mammal related to minks. Even as Dave enters high school and starts wondering what life will be like when he eventually leaves the family cabin on Mount Hood, Martin knows that soon it will be time to leave his mother and siblings behind.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2015

    On the slopes of Mt. Hood, OR, a young marten goes from birth to adolescence quickly, while Dave at 14 slowly becomes a young man. Sections of the novel alternate between the marten's and the human's lives. The wild animal is not anthropomorphized, although he is called Martin by the author. He is a fascinating creature of the woods whose survival becomes important as readers learn about him and his family. Dave and his younger sister, Maria, are treasured by their hardworking parents, who live a quiet, simple life in the isolated area. When Dave's father loses his job, Dave seeks employment at the local general store. There, he works for the unusual young owner, a woman who does not accept the idea of marriage. Her story and that of her suitor are cleverly introduced into the plot, and teens will learn to care about them. Gradually, more beautifully portrayed and eccentric characters enter the narrative. At the same time, the marten is becoming fully grown and looking for a mate and Dave is shyly running with a special, athletic girl in his new high school. Maria, Dave's sister, deserves a novel of her own. As a first grader, she wants to apply for fourth grade and sees no reason why students should stay in their designated class. There is adventure, near tragedy, and romance in this luminous novel. The descriptions of the woods will inspire any city dweller to go on a hike. VERDICT Teens will want to read about the lives of Dave and his friends and be introduced to the fast, clever Martin.-Karlan Sick, Library Consultant, New York City

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Neil Abramson, author of Unsaid "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."
  • Jim Lynch, author of the novels Truth Like the Sun, Border Songs, and The Highest Tide "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."
  • Carol Cassella, author of Gemini "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."
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Martin Marten
A Novel
Brian Doyle
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