one of the shamans of literature

Born on May 22, 1927, Peter Matthiessen was raised and schooled mostly in the city of his birth, New York. He served in WWII and afterwards he went to Yale as an English major. He spent his junior year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1951, he helped found the Paris Review with George Plimpton. From 1953 to 1956, he worked as a commercial fisherman and as a fishing boat captain working out of Montauk, New York. An extensive traveler, Matthiessen has explored many endangered natural environments and threatened human cultures.

An account of one of these travels was published in "The Snow Leopard", which won the National Book Award. It recounts his trip to the remotest parts of Nepal with the naturalist George Schaller in search of the Himalayan blue sheep and the rarely seensnow leopard. He confronts the beautiful, yet often violentHimilayas and his feelings on life and death following his wife's passing.

In his latest work, Matthiessen travels to the Russian Far East to witness the Siberian Tiger's present condition and to understand its possible fate. Poaching, habitat depredation, and implosion of the Soviet Union are all covered in "Tigers in the Snow."


  1. Race Place (1954)
  2. Partisans (1955)
  3. Wildlife in America (1959)
  4. Cloud Forest (1961)
  5. Under the Mountain Wall (1962)
  6. Raditzer (1961)
  7. At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965)
  8. The Shorebirds of North America (1966)
  9. Sal Si Puedes (1969)
  10. Blue Meridian(1971)
  11. The Tree Where Man Was Born (1972)
  12. Far Tortuga (1975)
  13. The Snow Leopard (1978)
  14. Sand Rivers (1981)
  15. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983)
  16. Indian Country (1984)
  17. Nine-Headed Dragon River, Zen Journals (1986)
  18. Men's Lives (1986)
  19. On the River Styx (1989)
  20. Killing Mister Watson (1990)
  21. African Silences (1991)
  22. Baikal: Sacred Sea of Siberia (1992)
  23. Shadows of Africa (1992)
  24. East of Lo Monthang (1995)
  25. Lost Man's River (1997)
  26. Tigers in the Snow (2000)
  27. Bone by Bone (2000)
  28. End of the Earth: Expeditions To Georgia and Antarctica (2003)


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