Celebrated Writer, Naturalist, and Environmental Activist Peter Matthiessen to Give Free Reading

Posted April 15th, 2010 at 2:26 pm.

photo of Peter MatthiesenTwo-time National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen, author of At Play in the Fields of the Lord, will read from his work on Tuesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Bryn Mawr’s Thomas Great Hall.

Part of Bryn Mawr’s Creative Writing Program Reading Series, the event is free and open to the public.

Matthiessen has spent much of his life traveling the world, visiting and writing about Nepal, Siberia, Mongolia, the jungles of South America, Antarctica, and many other locales. He is considered one of the nation’s most eminent wilderness and environmental writers and has written more than 20 books about the world’s indigenous peoples and its oceans, forests, and wildlife, including 1980 National Book Award winner The Snow Leopard; the controversial In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, which was kept off shelves for eight years due to legal challenges by an FBI agent and a former South Dakota governor; and 2003’s End of the Earth: Voyage to Antarctica.

Now in his eighties, Matthiessen continues to be a literary force and in November 2008 received his second National Book Award for Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend, which Publishers Weekly called “a touchstone of modern American literature.”

“Peter Matthiessen has created a unique body of work. It is the work of a man in ecstatic contemplation of our beautiful and inexplicable planet—we behold a writer of phenomenal scope and versatility,” wrote author William Styron.

Along with George Plimpton, Harold L. Humes, Thomas Guinzburg and Donald Hall, Matthiessen founded the literary magazine The Paris Review in 1953.

Watch Matthiessen talk to PBS’ Charlie Rose about his book Shadow Country below:

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