Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

A Fugitive in Walden Woods

A Fugitive in Walden Woods Cover

A Fugitive in Walden Woods

By Norman Lock

Bellevue Literary Press, Paperback, 9781942658221, 240pp.

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Advertisement
Description
"A Fugitive in Walden Woods manages that special magic of making Thoreau's time in Walden Woods seem fresh and surprising and necessary right now. Norman Lock tells the story of Samuel Long, an escaped slave who encounters Thoreau, with insight and some welcome humor. This is a patient and perceptive novel, a pleasure to read even as it grapples with issues that affect the United States to this day."--Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom and The Changeling

"Portraying the traumatic psychological aftershock not of war but of slavery provides a convincing and complex narrative of new hardships faced by escaped slave Samuel Long in Norman Lock's bold and enlightening novel A Fugitive in Walden Woods. It's an important novel that creates a vivid social context for the masterpieces of such writers as Thoreau, Emerson, and Hawthorne and also offers valuable insights about our current conscious and unconscious racism."--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman

Samuel Long escapes slavery in Virginia, traveling the Underground Railroad to Walden Woods where he encounters Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Lloyd Garrison, and other transcendentalists and abolitionists. While Long will experience his coming-of-age at Walden Pond, his hosts will receive a lesson in human dignity, culminating in a climactic act of civil disobedience.

Against this historical backdrop, Norman Lock's powerful narrative examines issues that continue to divide the United States: racism, privilege, and what it means to be free in America.

Norman Lock is the author of, most recently, the short story collection Love Among the Particles, and three previous books in The American Novels series: The Boy in His Winter, a re-envisioning of Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, American Meteor, an homage to Walt Whitman and William Henry Jackson, and The Port-Wine Stain, an homage to Edgar Allan Poe and Thomas Dent Mutter. He lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, where he is at work on the next books of The American Novels series.


About the Author
Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. He has won The Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, The Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lock's recent works of fiction include the short story collection Love Among the Particles, a Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year, and four books in The American Novels series: The Boy in His Winter, a reenvisioning of Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that Scott Simon of NPR Weekend Edition hailed for "make[ing] Huck and Jim so real you expect to get messages from them on your iPhone"; American Meteor, an homage to Walt Whitman and William Henry Jackson named a Firecracker Award finalist and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; The Port-Wine Stain, a "mesmerizingly twisted, richly layered" (New York Times Book Review) homage to Edgar Allan Poe and Thomas Dent Mutter; and A Fugitive in Walden Woods, his homage to Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press). Lock lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, where he is at work on the next books of The American Novels series: The Wreckage of Eden, his homage to Emily Dickinson, and Feast Day of the Cannibals, his homage to Herman Melville.
Advertisement