Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau

Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau

by Ben Shattuck


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on April 19, 2022


Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s most memorable walks, Ben Shattuck’s journey is a thoughtful meditation on following another’s path in order to find his own way.

On a summer morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese, and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip. 

This walk through Cape Cod is the first of six journeys taken by Shattuck, each one inspired by a journey once taken by Henry David Thoreau. As he first traverses the Cape, then Mount Wachusett, Mount Katahdin, the Allagash, and then his own hometown, Shattuck encounters the unexpected—like the enigmatic millionaire who buys him dinner in a Provincetown pub, or the kind couple who take him in for the night as an oysterman once took in Thoreau—and comes to see for himself the restorative effects that walking can have on a dampened spirit. Over years of following Thoreau, Shattuck finds himself uncovering new insights about family, love, friendship, and impending fatherhood, and understanding more deeply the lessons walking can offer through life’s changing seasons. 

Interweaving passages from Thoreau’s many writings alongside Shattuck’s own thinking and memories, Six Walks is an intimate, beautifully crafted meditation on Thoreau’s work and personhood, and a resounding tribute to the ways walking in nature can inspire us all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953534040
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication date: 04/19/2022
Pages: 175
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ben Shattuck, a former Teaching-Writing Fellow and graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is a recipient of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize and a 2019 Pushcart Prize. He is the director of the Cuttyhunk Island Writers’ Residency and curator of the Dedee Shattuck Gallery. His writing can be found in the Harvard Review, The Common, the Paris Review Daily, Lit Hub, and Kinfolk Magazine. He lives with his wife and daughter on the coast of Massachusetts, where he owns and runs a general store built in 1793.

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