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Peter Matthiessen Books

Peter Matthiessen (b.1927) is a two-time National Book Award-winning American novelist and non-fiction writer as well as an environmental activist.

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Sand Rivers

Sand Rivers by Peter Matthiessen (1981) is about a foot safari into the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. Photographs by Hugo Van Lawick.



The Tree Where Man Was Born

The Tree Where Man Was Born by Peter Matthiessen (1972). Two celebrated naturalists join forces to evoke the African experience from the upper Nile in Sudan, south through Tanzania and northwest to remote Lake Rudolf on the Kenyan frontier. More than 100 photos and 100,000 words detail human and natural history and record the fascinating life of the tribes and animals.


African Silences

African Silences by Peter Matthiessen (1981) is an account of wildlife survey from three trips author took to west and central Africa and east to Kenya. Kindle Version



Wildlife In America

Wildlife In America by Peter Matthiessen (1959) is the first history of man's effect on the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the North American continent.



The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle Of The South American Wilderness

The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle Of The South American Wilderness by Peter Matthiessen (1961). The author crossed 10,000 miles of the South American wilderness, from the Amazon rain forests to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, down to Tierra del Fuego and back.



Under The Mountain Wall: A Chronicle Of Two Seasons In Stone Age New Guinea

Under The Mountain Wall: A Chronicle Of Two Seasons In Stone Age New Guinea by Peter Matthiessen (1962). The author visited the Kurelu, a Stone Age tribe that survived into the 20th century in New Guinea with the Harvard-Peabody Expedition of 1961.


The Wind Birds: Shorebirds Of North America

The Wind Birds: Shorebirds Of North America by Peter Matthiessen (1967) covers the behaviour and biology of shorebirds, their yearly lifecycles and important habitat and conservation efforts.



Oomingmak: The Expedition To The Musk Ox Island In The Bering Sea

Oomingmak: The Expedition To The Musk Ox Island In The Bering Sea by Peter Matthiessen (1967) describes the Nunivak Expedition, which had as its goal the capture and domestication of wild musk ox calves so they could be raised for wool. This venture was eventually successful as the wool is now commercially available. This wool is one of the finest wools in the world.


Blue Meridian: The Search For The Great White Shark

Blue Meridian: The Search For The Great White Shark by Peter Matthiessen (1971) is the chronicle of the expedition that filmed 'Blue Water, White Death'.



The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (1978) is an account of the author's two month journey along with naturalist George Schaller in 1973 to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas.



In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse

In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen (1983) is a detailed account of how the US government renewed its assault on the Indians in the 1970s. Focuses on events at the Lakota Reservation in 1975 and the trial of Leonard Peltier, who was accused of murdering two FBI agents in a shootout.


Indian Country

Indian Country by Peter Matthiessen (1984) explores ten important instances where the white man's encroachments upon the sacred grounds of Indian tribes show the tragic effects of a confrontation bound to harm both sides.



Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals 1969-1982

Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals 1969-1982 by Peter Matthiessen (1986) is an account of his journey deep into the heart of American and Japanese Zen. Writing in the same format as his bestselling book 'The Snow Leopard', Matthiessen masterfully describes his quest for spiritual roots as he combines spiritual and historical narrative with lyrical glimpses of the natural world.


Men's Lives: The Surfmen And Baymen Of The South Fork

Men's Lives: The Surfmen And Baymen Of The South Fork by Peter Matthiessen (1986) is the author's tribute to the fisherman of the eastern tip of Long Island. Kindle Version



Baikal: Sacred Sea Of Siberia

Baikal: Sacred Sea Of Siberia by Peter Matthiessen (1992) takes readers on a fascinating journey to the ancient Lake Baikul in Siberia. The world's oldest and deepest lake, Baikul is a natural wonder: more than a mile deep, it contains one-fifth of the fresh water on earth; its waters possess a clarity and purity beyond compare - a coin dropped into the water can be clearly seen at a depth of 100 feet. At the bottom of the lake are hydrothermal vents that support unique forms of life. But this legendary lake is now endangered by acid rain and pollution from industries on the lake shore.


East Of Lo Monthang: In The Land Of Mustang

East Of Lo Monthang: In The Land Of Mustang by Peter Matthiessen (1995) is a beautifully illustrated look at this valley, high in the northernmost reaches of the Himalayas.



The Peter Matthiessen Reader

The Peter Matthiessen Reader by Peter Matthiessen (2000) is a selection of some of Matthiessen's finest writing on nature and on those who can not speak for themselves. Lyrically eloquent writing informed by his work with great naturalists like George Schaller as well as his understanding of Buddhism.


Tigers In The Snow

Tigers In The Snow by Peter Matthiessen (2000) is an overview and history of the world's tiger population and prospect for the survival of its many subspecies - emphasis on the Amur tiger in Eastern Siberia.



The Birds Of Heaven: Travels With Cranes

The Birds Of Heaven: Travels With Cranes by Peter Matthiessen (2001). The author travels the globe in search of a prized and vanishing bird. Cranes are ubiquitous in the earliest legends of the world's peoples, where they often figure as harbingers of heaven and omens of longevity and good fortune. Beautiful paintings and drawings by Robert Bateman.


End Of The Earth: Voyages To Antarctica

End Of The Earth: Voyages To Antarctica by Peter Matthiessen (2003) are brilliant observations of the creatures inhabiting this end of the earth are interspersed with a history of the region, the effects of pollution and the global warming that threatens to cause polar meltdown and the exponential obliteration of vast quantities of the world's land mass.


Peter Matthiessen's Novels




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