“You know, even though I’ve – I love writing about nature, I had previously really mostly written about nature as a kind of setting. And this time around, I thought, I want to write about it as a kind of protagonist. What would it be like to treat it like I treat my human characters? And, of course, all the good stuff that makes up the stories that we want to hear about human characters – all the drama, the sex, the violence, the treason – are ones that we can find in the natural world, as well.”
― Daniel Mason, Interview, American Writers Museum
What booksellers are saying about North Woods
- Daniel Mason’s North Woods is a masterful literary art form exploring the four-hundred-year history of the woods surrounding a particular house in western Massachusetts. Mason uses songs, journals, letters, medical notes, and other techniques to share the lives of those who live, love, suffer, create, and die there. The manner in which this book reveals the life cycles of flora and fauna is lyrical, respectful, and full of wonder and awe. Throughout North Woods humanity shapes and changes the environment, but the natural world very much reveals itself to be omnipotent.
― Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia | Buy from Avid Bookshop
- In times like these, art’s what gets us through. In North Woods, Mason meets us head-on: our fear of change, our place in nature, what it is we owe to the ancestors. It’ll be compared to The Overstory but its similarity to Lincoln in the Bardo ― the stories of those who came before us ― is what it recalls. That said: Mason’s his own man and his own master and doesn’t really need to be compared to anyone at all. He sits, at the top of the mountain, with the those to whom we give our eternal thanks for books we love.
― Erica Eisdorfer, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina | Buy from Flyleaf Books
- Majestic and sprawling and a grand ol’ adventure through time of one singular, special place starring as the ultimate main character with deep ties that bind these stories into one. Incredible.
― Jill Naylor from Novel in Memphis, TN | Buy from Novel.
- I read Daniel Mason’s book, North Woods, on a trip across the country. In the car, when I finished the last page, I turned to my husband and said, “Oh my gosh—I’ve got to start reading this again immediately!” Spanning around 400 years of inhabitants of a house in Massachusetts, this novel is haunting and haunted. Mason makes use of many literary forms, including the loveliest poetry and epistolary writing, to tell the story of the intertwined lives of the people who lived in the yellow house with the orchard of Wonder apples.
― Mamie Potter from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC | Buy from Quail Ridge Books
About Daniel Mason
Daniel Mason is the author of The Piano Tuner, A Far Country, The Winter Soldier, and A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, adapted for opera and the stage, and awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His short stories and essays have been awarded two Pushcart Prizes, a National Magazine Award, and an O. Henry Prize. He is an assistant professor in the Stanford University department of psychiatry.