BEN SHATTUCK

Published (Tin House) on April 19, 2022
Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau

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“Inspired by Thoreau, but soon onto something that is very much his own, Ben Shattuck takes us on a journey that bores into the history of both himself and his native New England.  A book of loss and redemption, fear and fragile hope, Six Walks is rich, evocative, and like the boat gunwale that cuts off the tip of his finger, unexpectedly dangerous—in that best of Thoreauvian ways.”

—Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award Winner  of In the Heart of the Sea

 
“I think Thoreau would have liked this book, and I think that’s a high recommendation.”

—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
 
 
“By walking in Thoreau’s footsteps, Ben Shattuck ends up following the long trail left by wandering thinkers and writers like Rousseau, Muir, Walser, Benjamin, and Solnit. Along the way, Six Walks offers a moving meditation on nature and history—and what our precarious place between these two realms may be.”

—Hernan Diaz, Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of In the Distance
 
 
“Walking as means of healing, walking as a way of seeing what’s there, walking as a method of pulling you out of yourself and re-joining the world—in this beautiful, smart, and moving book, Ben Shattuck shows us where putting one foot in front of the other can take us. Thoreau’s footsteps serve as map, but Shattuck has made a fresh journey right into the heart of things. In painterly prose, he brings us along on his walks and proves the best sort of guide: curious, open to the chance encounter, deeply attuned to rhythms natural and personal and to the strange joys to be found even in periods of pain. Most of all, he reminds us, every step of the way, of what’s on offer every time we walk out the door.”

Nina MacLaughlin, author of Summer Solstice: An Essay