Author of ‘Rough Beauty’ Karen Auvinen visits The Bookworm of Edwards |

Author of ‘Rough Beauty’ Karen Auvinen visits The Bookworm of Edwards

Daily staff report
Author Karen Auvinen is inspired by female writers and wrote "Rough Beauty," a story about experiencing the changing seasons as you yourself change.
Special to the Daily


What: Karen Auvinen, author of “Rough Beauty.”

When: Tuesday, June 26, 6 p.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

Cost: $10, includes appetizers.

More information: Call 970-926-READ, or visit

Author Karen Auvinen chronicles her time of solitude over 40 seasons in the Rocky Mountains in “Rough Beauty,” as she attempted to find answers to the big questions in her life.

On Tuesday, June 26, Auvinen will speak about her journey to the mountains and her memoir.

“The book was a world that I entered,” she said. “I thought of myself as a character to get a narrative distance. A good writer will invite the reader in and tell you to stand ‘here’ and then ask, ‘What do you see?”’

Writing herself as a character also allowed her to get distance from the painful family details that she included in the book.

“The three chapters about my family were the most difficult to write. I didn’t want to relive it. It was hard but there is something also liberating having done it,” Auvinen said.

Not only has the book received positive feedback from readers, Auvinen’s family also reacted with kindness to the fairness that was used describing their situation.

“I felt really strongly that I have to answer the question, ‘Why did Karen move to the mountains?’ You have to write about how you got there, even if it is painful,” she said.

Auvinen had been trying to write the story for 10 years, bringing together the collection of essays she had written. Before and during the writing process, she used other writers and memoirs to learn from.

“We are all influenced by other authors. I looked at writing by women. It’s important to think about women’s voices,” she said. “Women are so hungry for women with heroic journeys — to imagine themselves a hero of their own stories.”

Through all of the pain and learning, “Rough Beauty” is a fearless story about experiencing the changing seasons, as you yourself are changing.

“Readers read to go on a journey, not to hear about one,” Auvinen said.

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