THE READING #10: The Shining Mountains with Alix Christie / Dec 11, 2023


The Reader Berlin invites you to the Berlin book launch of THE SHINING MOUNTAINS with author Alix Christie in conversation with writer, publisher and journalist Joachim Zepelin.

Accompanied by short fiction from Donovan Dennis.

When: 11 December, 2023

Doors open at 19:00 and readings will start at around 19:30.

Where: Lettrétage (Veteranenstrasse 21, Mitte)

Free entry.

Books will be available for sale.

“The more we know of the past, the more we know of ourselves,” the Scottish fur trader Angus McDonald wrote in his ledger in Montana in the 1870s. Alix Christie’s novel THE SHINING MOUNTAINS follows a family saga set against the backdrop of America’s Rocky Mountain West. The year is 1838. The young Scotsman Angus McDonald flees his homeland to trade for fur in the unclaimed Oregon Country. There he discovers a world beyond even a Highlander’s wildest imaginings: raging rivers, buffalo hunts, and the powerful daughter of an ancient and magnificent people. In Catherine Baptiste, kin to Nez Perce chiefs, Angus recognizes a kindred spirit. The world in which they fall in love will soon be torn apart by competing claims: between British fur traders, American settlers, and the Native peoples who have lived for millennia in the valleys and plateaus of the Shining Mountains.

The epic true story of this union of the fur trade and indigenous worlds is based on Christie’s own family. Alix Christie, a direct descendant of Angus McDonald’s brother Duncan, met with her distant cousins and consulted extensively with the Nez Perce and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to write the story of her blended family.

“An action-packed historical family saga based on the truth…[that] says important things about multiculturalism, family ties, family continuity, and the evils of prejudice and avarice. Highly recommended.” Historical Novels Review, Editors Choice Title

“An impressively original, truly epic, and memorable saga” Midwest Book Review

Alix Christie is an American-Canadian novelist and journalist based in Berlin. Her debut novel, GUTENBERG’S APPRENTICE, the story of the making of the Gutenberg Bible, was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Prize. Her story “Everychild” won the 2021 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize in fiction from The Missouri Review and a Pushcart Prize. She has been a longtime foreign correspondent for newspapers including the Guardian and San Francisco Chronicle, and currently writes about culture for The Economist.


Donovan Dennis will read from his short story Primary Succession set in present-day Montana. Donovan writes about glaciers, the climate crisis, contemporary life in the U.S., and the Montana of his youth. He is currently based in Berlin, where he works as a geoscientist. In his post-lockdown(s) life, he started trying his hand at writing short fiction. He recently published his piece In the Senate We Read Dante and I Loved Him in Hippocampus Magazine.



Joachim Zepelin is a writer, journalist and former co-publisher of Secession Verlag für Literatur, which was awarded the Großer Berliner Verlagspreis in 2021.

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