Molly Gloss website; painting by Molly Gloss

Wild Life

The Hearts of Horses cover image

Charlotte Bridger Drummond is an outrageous early-twentieth century feminist, a cigar-smoking, trousered, bicycling, scandal-embracing mother of five sons who supports her household in the Columbia River town of Skamokawa, Washington, by writing adventure stories and scientific romances featuring intrepid girl heroes. When a friend's granddaughter goes lost from a remote logging camp, Charlotte travels into the mountains to join the search, and to investigate the truth of a report that the child was abducted by a Mountain Giant—a legendary creature Charlotte herself has made use of in her stories. The search takes her into a wild landscape of lava sinkholes and ancient forest, where she makes astonishing discoveries, comes to misadventure, and encounters human malignancy. When Charlotte herself becomes lost in the dark and tangled woods, she falls into the company of a family of real or delusionary Mountain Giants, and embarks on an extraordinary journey into the wilderness that lies at the center of the human heart.

"Bold and Inventive." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Stunning." —Denver Post

"Gloss's exhilarating tale cajoles us into asking what it means to be alive on this teeming sphere." —Chicago Tribune

"A masterpiece." —Kirkus Reviews

Wild Life was awarded the James Tiptree Jr prize in 2001, and was the 2002 selection for "If All of Seattle Reads the Same Book."

Reader's guide

Excerpt

Houghton Mifflin, 2001

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