Join us for this virtual event!
The author will join us on zoom to discuss his humorous and provocative novel about a life transformed by community service, working for the State of New York on a common loon survey in the Adirondack Mountains. James McVey will appear in conversation with Elektra Greer, Director of the Nederland Community Library, Colorado.
As part of community service, Miles Radke agrees to work for the State of New York on a common loon survey in the Adirondack Mountains. If he completes the summer job without incident, his record of misdemeanors will be cleared. Miles is assigned to assist Annie, a wildlife biologist. Their charge is to canoe a hundred lakes in the northern Adirondacks and report on any loon activity they encounter. Among his duties, Miles is responsible for keeping a journal of what they experience during the summer. Miles has spent most of his adult life as an itinerant worker. A free-spirited drifter, he often finds himself in trouble with the law. Annie, on the other hand, is a dedicated conservationist who once worked as a Greenpeace activist confronting Soviet whaling ships on the high seas. At first, Miles is skeptical of the survey. Gradually, though, he begins to appreciate the Adirondack backcountry and the value of their work. Eventually, he comes to identify with the loon as he slowly falls in love with his partner. This is ultimately a humorous, provocative, tragic novel about species extinction and what it means to live in the Anthropocene.
Jim grew up in northern Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes. He is a freelance writer and the author of five books, including Loon Rangers (Saddle Road Press, 2021), The Way Home: Essays on the Outside West (University of Utah Press, 2010), and The Wild Upriver and Other Stories (Arbutus Press, 2005). He's traveled widely and written about such places as the Na Pali coast, the Khumbu Valley of Nepal, the Aysen region of Patagonia, and the coral reefs of Cuba. Jim’s short stories and essays have appeared in literary journals around the world, including Deep Wild, Island, Frontieres, Divide, Sport Literate, Puckerbrush Review, Kinesis, Apostrophe, and Rolling Stock. He has read his work at the Sorbonne in Paris and was the featured American author at the Watermark Literary Muster in Australia. Jim has worked as an outdoor journalist, wildlife biologist, musician, and university professor. He currently lives in Eldora, Colorado where he operates Victory Gardens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing local food systems.
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