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Author Ben Shattuck discusses new book Friday in Westerly

Either needing the exercise or mental nourishment or both — OR blessed with a great idea for a manuscript — writer Ben Shattuck set out to recreate some of naturalist Henry David Thoreau's literal and bipedal journeys and write about what he learned and experienced along the way. The resultant book is called "Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau," and Shattuck will discuss the work Friday at the United Theatre in Westerly.

Fortunately for the reader and Shattuck — who is an award-winning graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop — he chose his ambulations wisely. This wasn't an "I'm curious about the time Henry walked two blocks to Dairy Queen" sort of exercise. From the beaches of Cape Cod to mounts Katahdin and Wachusett and through the Allagash, Shattuck met folks, had revelations and learned some things that are as applicable today as they were in Thoreau's time.

Actor, author and standup comedian Jenny Slate, who is married to Shattuck, will conduct the onstage interview.

Ben Shattuck, 7 p.m. Friday, United Theatre, 5 Canal St., Westerly; $10, $33 with hardcover copy; www.unitedtheatre.org, (401) 388-8208.

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