Thoreau’s Walden: Four Contemporary Writers on its Enduring Relevance

Oct. 27, 2021

Authors Kristen Case, Gerald Early, Pico Iyer, and Megan Marshall in conversation with Karla Nielsen, Curator of Literary Collections at The Huntington

Spring 2020 and the onset of a global pandemic saw many writers returning to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden for guidance for living in a constricted space and with a reduced footprint. Beginning on July 4, 1845, Thoreau moved into a cabin on Walden Pond for two years, two months, and two days. He chronicled the experience, first in his diary and later in a long essay: Walden, or Life in the Woods which was published in 1854.

Now Comes Good Sailing, a volume of essays edited by Andrew Blauner, coming out from Princeton University Press in October 2021, explores the ongoing resonance of Thoreau's groundbreaking work of observation and reflection. The volume takes its title from the last four words that Thoreau wrote in his diary.

Four of the contributors to the volume join us in conversation for this Shapiro Center event moderated by Karla Nielsen, Curator of Literary Collections at The Huntington. Dr. Nielsen will also show images of The Huntington's seven drafts of Walden.


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