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The Mountains of Paris

How Awe and Wonder Rewrote My Life

David Oates

6 × 9. 192 pages.

2019. ISBN 978-0-87071-981-3. Paperback, $22.95.

ISBN 978-0-87071-982-0. e-book, $11.99.

Foreword Indies Award Finalist

Living in Paris for a winter and a spring and waking each morning to a view of Notre Dame, David Oates is led to revise his life story from one of trudging and occasional woe into one punctuated by nourishing and sometimes unsettling brilliance. He asks: What is the meaning of this tremendousness?


In long years of mountaineering Oates fought the self-loathing that had infused him as the gay kid in the Baptist pew. And in The Mountains of Paris, he ascends to a place of wonder. In luminous prose, Oates invites readers to share a sense of awe—whether awakened by a Vermeer painting or a wilderness sojourn, by the night sky, a loved one, or echoing strains of music—lifting the curtain on a cosmos filled with a terrifying yet beautiful rightness.



Member of AAUP