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Top books by Peter Matthiessen

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Peter Matthiessen, American novelist, naturalist, and wilderness writer, died at age 86 on April, 5, 2014 in his home in Sagaponack, N.Y.. He was born in New York City in 1927 and graduated from Yale University in 1950, already a published writer. The following year, he helped to found The Paris Review. His passion for adventure, the natural world, truth, and environmental activism imbued his writing with credibility and an unique kind of spiritual authenticity. He won a National Book Award in fiction and nonfiction for Shadow County and The Snow Leopard. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1974. He will be missed, yet his work will be appreciated for a long time. Matthiessen’s final novel, In Paradise, was published on April 8, by Riverhead Books. Listen to Matthiessen on NPR.

Peter Matthiessen's final novel 'In Paradise'
Peter Matthiessen's final novel 'In Paradise' Riverhead

Peter Matthiessen's final novel 'In Paradise'

In his final novel, Matthiessen explores the nature of human cruelty. In what begins as a meditation of what happens long ago, the range of human nature finds expression.  In Paradise   

'Indian Country' by Peter Matthiessen
'Indian Country' by Peter Matthiessen Penguin Books

'Indian Country' by Peter Matthiessen

Matthiessen explores past and contemporary assaults on lands sacred to Native People.  Some call it the postscript to Dee Brown's 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.'

Indian Country

'The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes'
'The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes' North Point Press

'The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes'

Accompany a cogent adventurer on a worldwide tableau and quest for all the subspecies of cranes. How can a tale of  endangerment and lost wilderness delight and inspire awe?  Matthiessen wrote it. The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes

NBA winner 'Shadow Country'
NBA winner 'Shadow Country' Modern Library

NBA winner 'Shadow Country'

The riches and dangers of Everglades serve as the stage and character during the lawless nineteenth-century.  A reimagined masterpiece that joined literary works and compressed timelines--the editing akin to sharpening a knife. Shadow Country

NBA winner 'The Snow Leopard'
NBA winner 'The Snow Leopard' Penguin Classics

NBA winner 'The Snow Leopard'

This is a classic in nature writing because the search for the snow leopard can reveal the readers' own quests for meaning. Guiding his readers through steep-walled canyons and over tall mountains, Matthiessen offers a narrative rich with metaphor and mysticism. The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard

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