Crossville native—and sometime Chapter 16 contributor—Michael Sims has had an enviably diverse career, following his own interests to subjects that include science, legendary writer E.B. White, Victorian detective stories, and now Henry David Thoreau. Sims’s newest book, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man’s Unlikely Path to Walden Pond, tells the story of the legendary writer and philosopher’s life from his youth through his time at Walden Pond. This new portrait of Thoreau reveals a young man fully engaged with the world, quirky and playful, and nothing like the hermit history has constructed.
NPR’s Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan offered high praise for this new book, saying, “The Adventures of Henry Thoreau is a rich, entertaining testament to the triumph of a young man who never comfortably fit in, but who made a place for himself, nonetheless.”
In The New Republic, Hillary Kelly praises the book: “Although it may not perfectly grapple with Thoreau’s politics and philosophies, Sims’s book provides an even greater service: It makes flesh and bone of the man in the woods.”
The Huffington Post asked Sims to create a list of “7 Things We Have Forgotten About Henry David Thoreau.” Sims’s response includes little-known details of Thoreau’s life, including the six months he spent in New York City, and the time he started a forest fire.
A former Nashvillian, Sims now lives in Pennsylvania. He will read from and discuss The Adventures of Henry David Thoreau at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville in October.
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