Join us for a night of philosophy and music with author Michael Perry and local musician Drew Nelson, in honor of the release of Perry’s new book Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy! In his new book, beloved memoirist and bestselling author of Population: 485 reflects on the lessons he’s learned from his unlikely alter ego, French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Michael will discuss his book, and he and Drew will join forces for another awesome musical performance in the Schuler Studio!
Praise for Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy
“Readers will laugh out loud frequently while taking in this very funny memoir, as this reviewer did, yet it’s a profound laughter, the kind that gets you thinking…. One couldn’t hope for a better introduction to the work of Perry or Montaigne.” (Library Journal, starred review)
“Perry’s refreshing candor, the essence of the personal essay, serves him well…. ‘You read Montaigne, you feel like you have a friend,’ writes the author, and so readers are likely to feel about Perry.” (Kirkus)
“The two writers are clearly long-lost comrades, separated by centuries. Perry reflects, “The guy would write about anything”—which will remind readers of Perry himself, tackling issues with sincerity and humor, analyzing life, and evolving from self-exploration to self-improvement. “You read Montaigne, you feel like you have a friend.” Perry’s readers will say the same of him.” (Booklist)
About Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy
"The journey began on a gurney," writes Michael Perry, describing the debilitating kidney stone that led him to discover the essays of Michel de Montaigne. Reading the philosopher in a manner he equates to chickens pecking at scraps—including those eye-blinking moments when the bird gobbles something too big to swallow—Perry attempts to learn what he can (good and bad) about himself as compared to a long-dead French nobleman who began speaking Latin at the age of two, went to college instead of kindergarten, worked for kings, and once had an audience with the Pope. Perry "matriculated as a barn-booted bumpkin who still marks a second-place finish in the sixth-grade spelling bee as an intellectual pinnacle . . . and once said hello to Merle Haggard on a golf cart."
Written in a spirit of exploration rather than declaration, Montaigne in Barn Boots is a down-to-earth (how do you pronounce that last name?) look into the ideas of a philosopher "ensconced in a castle tower overlooking his vineyard," channeled by a Midwestern American writing "in a room above the garage overlooking a disused pig pen." Whether grabbing an electrified fence, fighting fires, failing to fix a truck, or feeding chickens, Perry draws on each experience to explore subjects as diverse as faith, race, sex, aromatherapy, and Prince. But he also champions academics and aesthetics, in a book that ultimately emerges as a sincere, unflinching look at the vital need to be a better person and citizen.
About the Presenter
MICHAEL PERRY is a humorist, radio host, songwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including Visiting Tom and Population: 485, as well as a novel, The Jesus Cow. He lives in northern Wisconsin with his family and can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.
Michigan-born Navy veteran DREW NELSON is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles. Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.