Peter Matthiesson

Born in 1927 in New York City, Peter Matthiessen courted a literary life from an early age-graduating from Yale University in 1950 and immediately joining The Paris Review as a founding editor. A novelist and a writer of natural history, he is best known for his explorations of the hidden parts of the globe through both imagined characters and his own journalistic adventures. For Outside, Matthiessen offered his view on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a February 2003 article by traveling through the disputed region to discover what really is there. He also sought out one of the world's largest terrestrial predators, the Bengal tigers of India, for a story in 2002. In addition to his novels, which include At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965), Matthiessen's parallel career as a naturalist and adventurer has led to several thoughtful and influential books about the precarious position of the natural world. Africa has been the subject of many of these books, including The Tree Where Man Was Born (1972), a wide-ranging journey through the Great Rift Valley savannas where modern humans evolved, and African Silences (1991), which recounts Matthiessen's overland and aerial travels between West and East Africa to discover the terrible impact of the continent's chaos and wars on its wildlife. His efforts to publicize the plight of Africa's ecosystems led to his receipt of the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation Award in 1982. Matthiessen was twice nominated for the National Book Award before winning it in 1972 with The Snow Leopard, the story of his pursuit of an extremely rare Asian leopard in the remote Dolpa region of Nepal and Tibet.

Footprints in the Last Wild Place
As the political controversy over the future of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reignites, a journey across ANWR's disputed territory explores the realities of a place where wildlife, native traditions, and the search for oil converge in fateful proximity

Burning Bright
Dreams of Bengal tigers and visions of imminent extinction led Peter Matthiessen to a predator's last stronghold in the jungles of India. It was a place, the author discovered, where not seeing is believing.

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