Michael Finkel

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Michael Finkel

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Born
in Atlanta, The United States
Website

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Member Since
November 2015


Michael Finkel is the author of "The Stranger in the Woods" and "True Story," which was adapted into a 2015 motion picture. He has reported from more than 50 countries and written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives with his family in western Montana and southern France.

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Michael Finkel Hello. I answered this over on the book page, but I'll paste my response here too:

Mr. Knight is, of course, an extremely private individual, and thoug…more
Hello. I answered this over on the book page, but I'll paste my response here too:

Mr. Knight is, of course, an extremely private individual, and though he agreed to accept each of my jailhouse visits (he could easily have rejected any or all of them) and respond to many of my letters, he did not want to establish any real ties to me -- or, for that matter, to virtually everyone else. I did not purchase a cabin for him. Even a gift (especially such a valuable gift) creates a relationship between two people. As does exchanging money. Mr. Knight is not profiting from this book. He said he did not want any money from me, as money is a way to bind people together. Instead, the Pine Tree Camp, a summertime program for adults and children with physical or mental challenges (and the most frequent victim of Mr. Knight's thieving raids) will be receiving donations from me.(less)
Michael Finkel You are correct, Ross -- the "loss of self" reported by many people seeking solitary lives, and the reports from many experienced Buddhist meditators …moreYou are correct, Ross -- the "loss of self" reported by many people seeking solitary lives, and the reports from many experienced Buddhist meditators seem very similar. I believe that that these states are, indeed, very nearly the same. During the course of my research, I've read many descriptions from both hermits and Buddhists, and the same sensations keep repeating themselves. And why not? Both hermits and meditators are exploring what Thoreau called "the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being." And to venture out into these wild internal seas one senses a loss of self... and a gain of, it seems, incredibly deep experiences.(less)
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I greatly appreciate all of the reviews here - even the bad ones! (Though, I confess, it's sometimes a bit painful to read them.) There are so many books out there, I am honored that you've chosen to take a peek at "The Stranger in the Woods."

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More of Michael's books…
“I think that most of us feel like something is missing from our lives. And I wondered then if Knight's journey was to seek it. But life isn't about searching endlessly to find what's missing. It's about learning to live with the missing parts.”
Michael Finkel, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

“I understand I've made an unusual lifestyle choice. But the label 'crazy' bothers me. Annoys me. Because it prevents response. When someone asks if you're crazy, Knight lamented, you can either say yes, which makes you crazy, or you can say no, which makes you sound defensive, as if you fear that you really are crazy. There's no good answer.”
Michael Finkel, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

“Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid loneliness at all costs, but maybe it’s worthwhile to face it occasionally. The further we push aloneness away, the less are we able to cope with it, and the more terrifying it gets.”
Michael Finkel, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

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“I think that most of us feel like something is missing from our lives. And I wondered then if Knight's journey was to seek it. But life isn't about searching endlessly to find what's missing. It's about learning to live with the missing parts.”
Michael Finkel, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson




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