John Pipkin’s debut novel Woodsburner springs from a little-known event in the life of one of America’s most iconic figures, Henry David Thoreau. On April 30, 1844, a year before he built his cabin on Walden Pond, Thoreau accidentally started a forest fire that destroyed three hundred acres of the Concord woods—an event that altered the landscape of American thought in a single day. Against the background of Thoreau’s fire, Pipkin’s ambitious debut penetrates the mind of the young philosopher while also painting a panorama of the young nation at a formative moment.
“A superb historical fiction as well as a complex and provocative novel of ideas—Pulitzer Prize material.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred