In his scintillating debut, John Pipkin fictionalizes an ignoble event in noted naturalist Henry David Thoreau's life. One year before his historic retreat to the woods around Walden pond, Thoreau struck a match and carelessly started a mammoth fire that would go on to consume 300 acres of forest and farmland.More
"Woodsburner offers a nuanced portrait of a young and less recognizable Thoreau, whose philosophy begins to materialize as the flames lay waste. The talented Pipkin simultaneously presents a vivid picture of mid-19th century New England on the cusp of unstoppable change through a cast of characters: a sadistic and misguided preacher, a desperate bookseller, and an isolated immigrant laborer harboring painful secrets. Their lives are forever changed by the fire which serves as a powerful metaphor for the destructive passions that consume us, as well as the eternal struggles between human society and the natural world." (Amazon.com review)
"A superb historical fiction as well as a complex and provocative novel of ideas - Pulitzer Prize material." (Kirkus Reviews)
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