In his New York Times review of Now Comes Good Sailing, Andrew Blauner’s anthology of contemporary essays on Henry David Thoreau, critic John Kaag calls Charles Wesley Emerson Professor Megan Marshall‘s contribution, “Without,” “the most beautiful essay here, [and] also the most bittersweet.”
“Marshall is now without her husband and nothing will bring him back to life. This is, however, precisely what her words accomplish, expressing the underlying hope of “Good Sailing,” namely that the most meaningful moments, the most meaningful lives and writers, are never fully lost. This is true in the case of Henry David Thoreau.”
Marshall’s is one of 27 essays on the enduring value of Thoreau’s work, written by a “Who’s Who of Intelligent Modern Prose,” according to Kaag, among them Lauren Groff, Celeste Headlee, Pico Iyer, Amor Towles, Alan Lightman, and Adam Gopnik.