My Heart Is A Mountain: Tales of Magic and the Land



My Heart is a Mountain is a short story collection that explores how place and landscape impact people, and how magic resides in the mundane. Eleven stories (and one memoir piece) take place in Minnesota, Alaska, the Dust Bowl, New England, Appalachia, and elsewhere. My Heart is a Mountain explores intimacy, change, relationships, the power of the human spirit and the beauty and magnitude in everyday life.

An elderly man vanishes into the air every time he wants to zone out. A woman in Alaska opens her heart readily to the land, but shrinks from human intimacy. An old woman at the end of her life reflects on her relationship with the land and what it means to have that taken away. A woman returns to the mountains, and her dying mother, and reconnects with the land and her family. These are some of the stories that capture character and place in My Heart is a Mountain.


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Praise for My Heart is a Mountain


“Catherine Holm writes with great and winning assurance and with nuanced compassion. My Heart is a Mountain is a truly lovely book by a fine writer.”—Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“Catherine Holm is a gifted storyteller. She explores the journeys we must all take through grief and healing, life and death; and she writes of the land with the passion of a lover. Her writing is both magical and of the earth; lyrical and accessible. I highly recommend her stories to anyone who listens for the heartbeat of the earth.”—Mary Casanova, author of The Klipfish Code

“This fine debut collection of stories has great variety, and both reach and grasp of what it means to be fully human.”—Will Weaver, author of The Last Hunter: An American Family Album

“The greatest strength in each of the stories is Holm’s ability to peer into the deepest reaches of the minds of her characters and to so eloquently divulge the secrets of their being, even more so than the characters themselves would have the courage to admit to themselves. On the whole, it’s a terrific collection of stories by a gifted writer. Each description of person or place speaks volumes of history, and the pleasure, grief, bliss, and fear from the characters can almost be tasted. Life and death, relationships, love and hate, missed opportunities, and leaps of faith are a few of the literary undercurrents one can dip their minds into by reading My Heart is a Mountain.”—Nathan Bergstedt, Grand Rapids Herald-Review

“Catherine Holm, of rural Cook, has a gift for storytelling and an emotional connection with her subject matter that shines through in a new collection of stories just released by Holy Cow! Press. Her stories are varied and personal, with an efficiency of prose that is the hallmark of all good short fiction. In this collection, we read of disappearing men, detours, and transcendence.”—Timberjay

“I enjoyed the diverse community of characters I met in the stories, all dealing with magic and dreams, sadness and hope, and unexpected endings. Catherine Holm is an excellent writer. Her stories grab the imagination and hold on to it. The slim volume made for me one day’s good read. I look forward to more books by her.”—Ken Wachsberger, Editor, Voices from the Underground: Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press

“America’s mountains and forests take a special type of individual to call them home. My Heart is a Mountain: Tales of Magic and the Land is a collection of short stories along with some memoir from Catherine Holm as she speaks and reflects on mountain life and its special breed of challenge and the exhilaration that comes with it. A fascinating and insightful short fiction collection, My Heart is a Mountain is very highly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review

“I would love to know Catherine Holm. Have you ever felt that way about a writer you have never read before? I’ve just read Holm’s first short story collection, My Heart is a Mountain. It’s a series of beautifully rendered and heartfelt stories about living on the land, which Catherine Holm does with her husband Chris up in Cook, Minnesota.”—Dave Wood, River Falls Journal

“Subtitled ‘Tales of Magic and the Land,’ the debut collection from this author who lives near Cook is gracefully written, interesting and compassionate.”—Mary Ann Grossmann

“Her stories often interweave fantasy with life in the north woods, creating an intriguing mix of otherworldly and iron-ore-clad reality good for a hot day’s or cold night’s comfort.”—Konnie LeMay, Lake Superior Magazine





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