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Consolations of the Forest cover

Author Sylvain TESSON

on Tour

December 2-11

with his

Consolations Of The Forest:
Alone In A Cabin On The Siberian Taiga

Translated by Linda Coverdale

[non-fiction/travel narrative/memoir]

 Release date: September 17, 2013
from Rizzoli ExLibris, an imprint of Rizzoli New York

HC ISBN: 978-0-8478-4127-1
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8478-4140-0

    256 pages



A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude.

Winner of the Prix Médicis for non-fiction, THE CONSOLATIONS OF THE FOREST is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal—a full day’s hike from any “neighbor”— with his thoughts, books, a couple of dogs, and many bottles of vodka for company. Writing from February to July, he shares his deep appreciation for the harsh but beautiful land, the resilient men and women who populate it, and the bizarre and tragic history that has given Siberia an almost mythological place in the imagination.

Rich with observation, introspection, and the good humor necessary to laugh at his own folly, Tesson’s memoir is about the ultimate freedom of owning your own time. Only in the hands of a gifted storyteller can an experiment in isolation become an exceptional adventure accessible to all.  By recording his impressions in the face of silence, his struggles in a hostile environment, his hopes, doubts, and moments of pure joy in communion with nature, Tesson makes a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary experience relatable to the reader who may be struggling with hir or her own search for peace and balance in life. The awe and joy are contagious, and one comes away with the comforting knowledge that “as long as there is a cabin deep in the woods, nothing is completely lost.”  [provided by the publisher]


Sylvain Tesson is a writer, journalist, and celebrated traveler. He has been exploring Central Asia—on foot, bicycle, and horse—since 1997. A best-seller in his native France, he is published all over the world—and now in the United States.



“After traveling the world and climbing cathedrals, Sylvain Tesson ventures where Thoreau only talked about—into the wilderness of nature and solitude. He writes with the lyrical cynicism of a Raymond Chandler about nature, kitsch, violence, herd behavior, and the glory of paying attention. Equipped with books, cigars, and vodka, plus a good knife and solar panels, Tesson takes time to look real life in the eye, and—in prose of startling clarity and candor—makes a spiritual quest both suspenseful and funny. “I will finally find out,” he writes early on in his diary, “if I have an inner life.” He does.”  —Michael Sims, author of THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE’S WEB and the upcoming ADVENTURES OF HENRY THOREAU

“A French journalist’s eloquently philosophical diary of the six months he spent fulfilling his dream to “live as a hermit deep in the woods” of Siberia. The deeper he probed his own mind and heart, the more aware he became of himself as just another animal, like the wolves and bears with whom he shared the landscape. Comparisons to Walden are inevitable and, to an extent, justified. Yet what makes Tesson’s work so refreshing is its freedom from Thoreau-vian moralizing. Solitude may be necessary and healing; but living life as a fully realized human being with attachments to society is an art rather than a thing to be despised. Moving, wise and profound.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“This book is to be savored word by word. It is the diary of a man who spent six months by himself in a cabin on a Siberian lake. It contains beautiful and very evocative descriptions on the landscape, on solitude, on life, and on his numerous readings.” Bloggers Recommend

This last blurb was actually written by me. This is definitely the BEST non-fiction book I have read so far in 2013! Highly highly recommended!



Monday, December 2
Review  at BookNAround

Tuesday, December 3
Review + Guest-Post at Breadcrumb Reads

Wednesday, December 4
Review + at Making My Mark

Thursday, December 5
Excerpt+ Giveaway at 50 Year Project

Friday, December 6
Review + Giveaway at An Accidental Blog

Saturday, December 7
Highlights + Giveaway at Words And Peace

Monday, December 9
Review + Giveaway at Lisa’s Yarns

Tuesday, December 10
Review at From L.A. to LA

Wednesday, December 11
Review  at Jorie Loves A Story