In 1986, 20-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts and drove to the North Pond area of Maine, and disappeared into the woods. Knight would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Author Michael Finkel recounts this amazing, true story in his book “The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit.” Finkel will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. for an author talk and book signing.
Finkel extensively interviewed Knight and details not only Knight’s life in seclusion including answers to why did he leave and what did he learn, but also the challenges he has faced since. Finkel details how Knight lived in a tent even through brutal winters, and survived by utilizing his wits and courage. Knight developed ways to store edibles and water and to avoid freezing to death. Knight’s only interaction with outside world was when he broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material and other provisions. He took only what he needed but terrified the surrounding community who were never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the book is “a meditation on solitude, wildness and survival,” and Field & Stream adds, “[Knight’s] story will speak to anyone who has ever walked through the wilderness and considered, even for a moment, whether ever to leave.”
Finkel is the author of “True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa,” which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture. He has written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in western Montana.
Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. For more information about Finkel visit www.michaelfinkel.com and for more information on the talk contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.