Celebrate Women's History Month
Get inspired and get informed
Read the list here


Paperback $15.95

May 04, 2010 | 384 Pages

Ebook $11.99

Apr 28, 2009 | 320 Pages

  • Paperback $15.95

    May 04, 2010 | 384 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Apr 28, 2009 | 320 Pages

Get the news you want from Penguin Random House


Center for Fiction First Novel Prize WINNER 2009

Massachusetts Book Award WINNER 2009

Texas Institute of Letters Award WINNER 2009


“A wily fictional prequel to Walden. . . . Intelligent and often lyrical. . . . As the fire spreads, his Thoreau springs to life.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A terrifically exciting story. . . . Just as captivating are those characters Pipkin has invented, men and women consumed by their own passions. They provide a fascinating impression of the nation when it was still young and swelling and struggling to define itself.” —The Washington Post   

“A brilliant first novel. . . . It crackles with heat and energy, as we see these characters tested by the flames, scorched by their passions, beliefs, and hopes.” —New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Marvelous. . . . In this compelling homage to an iconic American writer, Pipkin may himself have just written a new American classic.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Wonderfully grandiose…. Pipkin’s portrait of a nation in flux is energetic and optimistic. It’s also a remarkably constructed piece of fiction—vibrant, solidly plotted and lyrically yet efficiently composed—and should be a contender for the year’s important literary awards.” —The Boston Globe

“Infused with moments of genuine drama, peril and suspense. Woodsburner is . . . an exemplary illustration of how fiction can illuminate the past, bring history to life and make it feel as fresh and relevant as the present day.” —The Dallas Morning News

Woodsburner is Pipkin’s first novel, but, with its complex structure and top-notch prose, there’s not a page that reads like the work of a novice…. The result is, well, transcendent.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Readers will be pulled inexorably toward the heat ignited by the fires of each character’s story…. It is a book that will keep you up all night racing toward the last page, and then will leave you longing for more.” —Jackson Free Press

“A mature historical work by a writer who happened upon a small footnote in American history and fanned a flicker into an imaginative, complex novel that humanizes an American icon.” —San Antonio Express

“Pipkin’s characters are full of convincing contradictions. . . . The author has some thoughtful things to say about the notion of American freedom, and the conflagration that serves as Woodsburner‘s central metaphor allows him to say them in language that is at once vividly precise and richly allusive.” —NPR.org, Summer Books “Best Fiction” feature

“What a terrific tale John Pipkin spins! He has taken a dramatic episode in the life of Henry David Thoreau and transformed it into a gripping and profound work of fiction.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin

“Witty, bawdy, philosophical, touching, and humorous, Woodsburner is a novel I didn’t want to end . . . This book is packed with interesting ideas, vital characters, and vivid writing.” —Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife and Four Spirits

Product Details

Also by John Pipkin

Back to Top