A story that is set in Maine yet has resonance here is Michael Finkel’s account of a man who disappeared into the woods of Maine, only to surface nearly thirty years later, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit (Knopf). We know from some other books we’ve hosted dealing with hermits (Bill Porter’s Road to Heaven) that books and appearances such as this draw a lot of interest, even as a crowd wanting to hear about a hermit seems a little contradictory. The interest is there.
“As ever, Michael Finkel’s voice in this fresh new chronicle is clean, clear, lucid—his attention fair and compassionate. The Stranger in the Woods is an altogether surprising page-turner that helps us to see his twisted saint’s essential sanity, and in so doing to question our own.” —Lawrence Weschler.
“I burned through this haunting tale in one rapt sitting. Chris Knight is an American original, a man who kept himself hidden from all other humans for more than a quarter of a century. Every life choice we make comes with a price, and Knight’s can be tallied in moments of serenity and winters survived, or in break-ins and stolen propane tanks—the final calculus, astonishing, poignant, and vexing as it is, falls to us.” —John Vaillant.