"Our greatest modern nature writer in the lyrical tradition." —The New York Times Book Review
"Matthiessen is a great travel companion. . . . His knowledge of plants, animals and people is breathtaking." —The Boston Globe
Perhaps no writer has better articulated our relationship to the environment than Peter Matthiessen. From Wildlife in America to Men’s Lives, his work has captured the wonder of the natural world–and the horrors of resource exploitation, with its violent effects on traditional peoples and the poor.
In The Peter Matthiessen Reader, editor McKay Jenkins presents a single-volume collection of this distinguished author’s nonfiction. Here are essays and excerpts that highlight the spiritual, literary, and political daring so crucial to Matthiessen’s vision. Matthiessen chronicles his 250-mile trek across the Himalaya to the Tibetan Plateau in a selection from the National Book Award winner The Snow Leopard. Wild peoples, wilderness, and wildlife–common themes throughout Matthiessen’s oeuvre–are examined with grace and power in The Tree Where Man Was Born. Here too are excerpts from Indian Country and In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Matthiessen’s stunning exposé of the Leonard Peltier case and the ongoing conflict between the U.S. government and the American Indian Movement. Comprehensive and engrossing, The Peter Matthiessen Reader celebrates an American voice unequaled in its commitment to literature’s noblest aspiration: to challenge us to perceive our world–as well as ourselves–truthfully and clearly.
Peter Matthiessen was born in New York City in 1927 and had already begun his writing career by the time he graduated from Yale University in 1950. The following year, he was a founder of The Paris Review. Besides At Play in… More about Peter Matthiessen