His entry begins:
On my floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in my living room is a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. I read it in college, reread it about five years ago, and recently with all the talk of going “green” and sustainability, I started thinking again about Thoreau. I used a quote of his in the preface of my recently released memoir, Accidental Lessons. Thoreau’s words fit perfectly into a storyline of self-reinvention and discovery - The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.David W. Berner is an award-winning journalist, writer, documentarian, and teacher. His most recent book, Accidental Lessons—A Memoir of a Rookie Teacher and a Life Renewed, was published by AEG/Strategic in February, 2009.
Thoreau’s approach to the world and his approach to the art of writing have always fascinated me. But since I had already read a number of the biographies on him, I turned to what you might call the anti-biography. The reporter, Robert Sullivan, has written a wonderful book that peels the layers off the Thoreau onion and tells us more about the real man than any of the legends and half-truths ever could. The Thoreau You Don’t Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant is full of...[read on]
Among the early praise for the book:
“Berner has given us a beautiful, elegantly-written book in the tradition of Blackboard Jungle and To Sir, With Love – the difference here is that Berner's story is not fiction, it's true.”Berner's essays and reporting have been published in numerous magazines and literary journals, and his broadcast work has been aired on National Public Radio, the CBS Radio Network, and public radio stations across the United States. He is an assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago, teaching writing, audio documentary, and radio narrative.
--Thomas E. Kennedy, 2008 Winner of the National Magazine Award; author of Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America
Learn more about David W. Berner and his work at the Accidental Lessons website.
Writers Read: David W. Berner.