Facts about Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen died at 86 years old
Born: May 22, 1927
Died: April 5, 2014
Best known as: The author of At Play in the Fields of the Lord

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Peter Matthiessen Biography

Peter Matthiessen was a novelist and nature writer whose books included At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965) and The Snow Leopard (1978). He studied at Yale and at the Sorbonne in Paris, and in 1951 he co-founded The Paris Review with George Plimpton. His early novels didn’t sell well, and Matthiessen returned to New York and worked as a commercial fisherman until the late 1950s, when he began writing non-fiction for magazines. He traveled and published the book Wildlife in America in 1959, his lifelong interest in ornithology informing much of his work. By the time of his death, Matthiessen was recognized as one of America’s best nature writers, but his real love was fiction. His non-fiction books included Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness (1961) and In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983) and Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark (1971). His novels include Far Tortuga (1975), In Paradise (2014) and Shadow Country, a combination of his Watson Trilogy — Killing Mr. Watson (1990), Lost Man’s River (1997) and Bone by Bone (1999) — that won the National Book Award in 2008.


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