“If Tom Montgomery Fate has not found the secret formula for the deliberate, balanced  life, he is a chief disciple of the search.”  
    —Chicago Tribune

“…frank, poignant, and funny. Fate’s clarion musings on place, time, family, social responsibility, the wild, and the civilized are thoughtful and affecting in their revelations of how complex and precious life is.”
     —Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Beautifully written reflections on nature and the mindful life….”
    —Kirkus Review

“This marvelous book is really a mystery novel at heart. The mystery is How to live?  Tom Montgomery Fate, sets out to answer this question, meandering, with Thoreau as his companion, toward the truth–or, the truths.  Thoreau has never been more relevant than he is today, and what a pleasure to follow the two of them sleuthing toward something solid in these fickle and shifting times.”        
  — David Gessner, author of Sick of Nature

“Tom Montgomery Fate resonates with Thoreau without needing to be Thoreau. Cabin Fever echoes Walden without pretense. Fate proves himself against his transcendental literary ancestor and in the process gives us a contemporary book of thought, hope and promise.”
     — Jeffrey S. Cramer, editor of Walden: A Fully-Annotated Edition and Curator of The Thoreau Institute

“Art and prayer, Tom Montgomery Fate writes, are acts of attention, efforts to wake up to what surrounds and fills us. These incisive, lyrical meditations demonstrate the possibility and the value of such an awakening, even in a life as crowded as yours or mine.”
  — Scott Russell Sanders, author of  
      The Force of Spirit
      A Private History of Awe

“Montgomery-Fate opens himself to the natural world with a vigor that would delight Thoreau.  The prose is clear as running water, and the guiding genius behind the words invites readers back to the daily miracles in their own lives.”
  — Philip Gerard, author of
      Creative Nonfiction:
      Crafting Stories of Real Life

“Part memoir, part meditation, part prayer,  Tom Montgomery Fate’s Steady and Trembling is completely absorbing.  The writer, guided by instinct, graces the book with both a lyrical flow and a rootedness in the modest, everyday details of a life. This book was for me both companionable and wise.”
  — Stuart Dybek, author of
I Sailed with Magellan 

“Steady & Trembling opens time and allows one to think about things that matter: the lessons and the power of the natural world, the too-busy hustle-shuffle of our children, and the divine inspiration that animates and transforms it all.”  -Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune

“Montgomery Fate explores listening as a political moral task of privileged culture crossers.  Through engaged personal narrative, he peels to the core of the practice of solidarity.  This is a book that upends flaccid multicultural studies curriculums.”
  — Renny Golden, author of
      Blood Desert

“Can we ever cross cultural boundaries with integrity?  Beyond the White Noise leads us on a journey of listening with intensity to the sounds a culture makes when it’s not being drowned out with good intentions.” 
  — Susan  Thistlethwaite, author of
      Casting Stones

“…a compelling and thoughtful account of the dilemmas encountered by people going from powerful, rich cultures to work among the poor majority of the world—also a wonderful source of insights into cross-cultural learning.”
  — Robert  Schreiter, author of
      Peacebuilding: Ethics and Practice


My Mother’s Hands,Chicago Tribune, 2022.

“The Gospel of This (Pandemic) Moment,” Chicago Tribune, 2021.

“Spiritual Detours,” Christian Century, 2018.

“Caught in the Web: Why Charlotte Still Matters.” Center for Humans and Nature, 2018.

On Thoreau and the Nature of Time.” Center for Humans and Nature, 2017.

“No Phones on the Throne,Chicago Tribune, 2015.

“The Rain Makes the Roof Sing.” Included in I’ll Tell You Mine: Essays from the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2015.

Living in the Multi-Present,” Chicago Tribune, 2013.

Writing Detours: Lost and Found in South Dakota,” Chicago Tribune, 2013.

Life Imitates Literature: Reflections on Pastors, Prophets, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Novel ‘Gilead’Chicago Tribune, 2013.

“Window on his World
,” Notre Dame Magazine, 2010.

Lake Glass,” Notre Dame Magazine, 2009. Video version of Lake Glass (from

Saunter: A Conversation with Henry David Thoreau,” Iowa Review, 2008.

The Art of Dying,” Orion, 2008.
Audio interview about the article.

Selected Reviews/Criticism

“Growing up Gay in a Fractured World.” An interview with Taylor Brorby on Boys and Oil. The Collegeville Institute. Bearings. June, 2022.

Confusing Love.” A feature review of Like Love by Michele Morano. Brevity Magazine. Nov., 2020.

The Artist at the End of the World.” A feature review of The Way of Imagination by Scott Russell Sanders. Christian Century. Sept., 2020.

A River of Words.” A feature review of One Long River of Song by Brian Doyle. Christian Century. Feb., 2020.  

Fighting Climate Change.” A feature review of Climate Church, Climate World by Jim Antal. Chicago Tribune. April, 2018.

“The Ups and Downs of the iGen: More Tolerant, Less Happy.” A feature review of iGen by Jean Twenge. Chicago Tribune. Oct., 2017.

Henry David Thoreau on the Bicentennial.” A feature review of Henry David Thoreau: A Life, by Laura Dassow Walls. Chicago Tribune. July, 2015.

“Identity Matters.” A feature review of When I Am Yes by Cin Salach & The Walmart Republic by Quraysh Ali Lansana. Chicago Tribune. Dec., 2014.

The Everyday Wild.” A feature review of The Urban Bestiary by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. The Boston Globe. Oct., 2013

The Nature of Fatherhood.” A review of In the Kingdom of the Ditch (Todd Davis) & Daddy Long Legs (John Price). Chicago Tribune. June, 2013.

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