Three Roads Back: How Emerson, Thoreau, and William James Responded to the Greatest Losses of Their Lives

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Product Details
$22.95  $21.34
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
4.5 X 7.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author
Robert D. Richardson (1934-2020) was the author of the acclaimed biographies William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, and Emerson: The Mind on Fire. He was a recipient of the Bancroft and Francis Parkman prizes and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Megan Marshall is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.
"[A] remarkably rich study. . . . [Richardson] expertly frames the emotional and intellectual lives of these three significant artistic figures and demonstrates the relevance, for anyone, of what they accomplished in their profound negotiations with loss. . . . A stirring and keenly perceptive examination of bereavement and recovery."-- "Kirkus Reviews starred review"
"Stimulating. . . . [Three Roads Back is] a moving, candid group portrait. Fans and students of American literature will find this worth picking up."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"A book worth savoring, especially if you're grappling with grief and loss. . . . [a] beautifully authentic book. . . . Richardson is an excellent guide."---Emily Blackshear, Brooklyn Rail
"A concise exploration of how three major 19th-century thinkers overcame the experience of personal tragedy. . . . Three Roads Back is Richardson's legacy condensed, his grace note to posterity, the massive effort behind his three great books . . . refracted in the shimmering prism of a hundred pages of perfectly polished prose. . . . [A] lovely, uplifting book."---Christoph Irmscher, Wall Street Journal
"[An] extraordinarily cogent and exquisitely concise exploration of the life-affecting course of early grief."---Diane Cole, Washington Post
"[A] slim but profoundly affecting volume."-- "Christian Science Monitor"
"An elegant and useful rumination on resilience as a practice, achievable through study, creation, companionship, and deep reflection."-- "New Yorker"
"[A] profound volume. . . . [Richardson] suggests that [Emerson, Thoreau, and James's] responses to loss can help guide modern-day readers who are navigating bereavement themselves. . . . [An] elegant and affecting book."---Barbara Spindel, Christian Science Monitor
"[A] moving study."---Gordon Fraser, Times Literary Supplement
"A New Yorker Best Book We've Read This Year"
"Three Roads Back [is Richardson's] final gift to the world."---Paul Krause, University Bookman
"The effect of this little volume, which looks hardly more than a pamphlet, is wholly out of proportion to its modest dimensions. . . . Three Roads Back is not only a consideration of the thought and actions of a group of singular historical figures: it is also a treatise for our time."---John Banville, New York Review of Books