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African Silences is a powerful and sobering account of the cataclysmic depredation of the African landscape and its wildlife. In this critically acclaimed work Peter Matthiessen explores new terrain on a continent he has written about in two previous books, A Tree Where Man Was Born -- nominated for the National Book Award -- and Sand Rivers.Through his eyes we see elephants, white rhinos, gorillas, and other endangered creatures of the wild. We share the drama of the journeys themselves, including a hazardous crossing of the continent in a light plane. And along the way, we learn of the human lives oppressed by bankrupt political regimes and economies, and threatened by the slow ecological catastrophe to which they have only begun to awaken.
Set in the South American jungle, this thriller follows the clash between two misplaced gringos--one who has come to convert the Indians to Christianity, and one who has been hired to kill them. Now the basis for a major motion picture.
Peter Matthiessen is one of America's most respected writers and one of the very few National Book Award winners nominated for both fiction and nonfiction. "Bone by Bone" is arguably his finest novel. Although it stands alone, it is also the capstone of the Watson trilogy. In "Bone by Bone," the story unfolds in its final form, in the voice of the enigmatic Mister Watson himself. From his early days as an impoverished child of the Reconstruction era, through the unjust loss of his inherited plantation, to his bloody death in front of his loving wife and children, E. J. Watson was capable of vision and ingenuity, mercy and courage, and sudden, astonishing violence. He was an entrepreneurial sugarcane farmer in the uncharted waterways of the Everglades, an exile in the Indian territories, a devoted father, and, allegedly, the killer of numerous men. He was forced to flee home and family time after time. In "Bone by Bone," Peter Matthiessen has accomplished the writer's ultimate challenge: He has laid bare the humanity at the heart of a dangerous and controversial figure and, in doing so, has added to our understanding of the abiding mystery of human nature.
Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed 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. He followed the trails of old explorers, encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins, and discovered fossils in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. The Cloud Forest is his incisive, wry report of his expedition into this vast world to the south.
"Matthiessen chronicles two voyages into the frozen seas that surround a landmass larger than the continental United States, most of it buried under eternal snow and ice as much as three miles deep. Ninety percent of the world's fresh water is locked in this immense ice cap, a remote region profoundly important to our environment. The author addresses the subject with authority and passion, discussing everything from global warming and the ozone layer to the vital role of krill, the teeming crustacean that is the cornerstone of the marine food chain." "Nature lovers - birders especially - will be fascinated by descriptions of more than half of the penguin species and an astonishing array of seabirds, from tiny storm-petrels to magnificent albatrosses, which may soar for years without alighting on land; here too are close encounters with whales, leopard seals, and elephant seals, and elusive creatures such as the oceanic orca. There are also remarkable descriptions of the seldom seen polar rookeries where thousands of emperor penguins stand motionless for months at a time, brooding their giant eggs through the long, cold darkness of Antarctic winter."--BOOK JACKET.
An adventure story and a deeply considered meditation upon the sea itself.
"A giant of a book. Indescribably touching, extraordinarily intelligent."-The Los Angeles Times Book Review. Matthiessen's chronicle of a fatal gun-battle between FBI agents and American Indian Movement activists in 1975.
After winning an eight year legal battle, here is the controversial book that powerfully sheds new light on the plight of Native Americans. Matthiessen's urgent accounts and absorbing journalistic details make it impossible to ignore the message they so eloquently proclaim.
Drawn from fragments of historical fact, Matthiessen's masterpiece brilliantly depicts the fortunes and misfortunes of Edgar J. Watson, a real-life entrepreneur and outlaw who appeared in the lawless Florida Everglades around the turn of the century.
The body of Edgar 'Bloody' Watson lay face down in a pool of his own blood. Had he been lynched or murdered? Or was this a killing to put an end to years of fear? Was Watson a cold-blooded killer or a man whose good name was unfairly tarnished and whose slaughter was as unjust as it was bloody? When Watson's son Lucius returns to the treacherous wilderness of the Florida Everglades searching for the truth, the lawless inhabitants, alligator poachers and moonshiners hold their secrets close, and a deep uneasiness drifts through the region, like a low swamp mist. Lost Man's River is the second part of the 'Watson' trilogy which opened with Killing Mister Watson and is concluded by Bone by Bone. It captures brilliantly the texture of a lawless frontier and its tough inhabitants, and confronts the primal, shaping relationship between father and son.
An eloquent portrayal of a disappearing way of life of the Long Island fishermen whose voices--humorous, bitter and bewildered--are as clear as the threatened beauty of their once quiet shore.
Since the 1950s Peter Matthiessen has written fiction and nonfiction of elemental power and moral vision, including the acclaimed novels At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Far Tortuga and works of naturalism and exploration like the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard.This stunning collection of short stories, available for the first time in paperback, spans more than three decades of writing by one of the most acclaimed literary voices of our time.
In the summer of 1968 Peter Matthiessen met Cesar Chavez for the first time. They were the same age: forty-one. Matthiessen lived in New York City, while Chavez lived in the Central Valley farm town of Delano, where the grape strike was unfolding. This book is Matthiessen's panoramic yet finely detailed account of the three years he spent working and traveling with Chavez, including to Sal Si Puedes, the San Jose barrio where Chavez began his organizing. Matthiessen provides a candid look into the many sides of this enigmatic and charismatic leader who lived by the laws of nonviolence. Sal Si Puedes is less reportage than living history. In its pages a whole era comes alive: the Chicano, Black Power, and antiwar movements; the browning of the labor movement; Chavez's fasts; the nationwide boycott of California grapes. When Chavez died in 1993, tens of thousands gathered at his funeral. It was a clear sign of how beloved he was and how important his life had been. A new foreword by Marc Grossman considers the significance of Chavez's legacy for our time. As well as serving as an indispensable guide to the 1960s, this book rejuvenates the extraordinary vitality of Chavez's life and spirit, giving his message a renewed and much-needed urgency.
Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, 'Shadow Country' re-imagines the legend of the Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself to his own violent end at the hands of his neighbours. Following the story of his son Lucius as he tries to learn the truth about his father, the story tells of devastating events and traverses wild landscapes inhabited by Americans of every provenance and colour. In this new rendering of the Watson trilogy, Matthiessen has consolidated his fictional masterwork into a poetic, compelling novel of a vast scope and ambition, with breathtaking accomplishment.
The story of the author's journey to Nepal to study Himalayan blue sheep, which was also a pilgrimage to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient Buddhist shrine on Crystal Mountain. Winner of the National Book Award.
An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two. The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to practice Zen meditation on your own. The book includes easily followed exercises to help the reader along. For anyone looking to uncover a clear and insightful path into the philosophy and practice of Zen meditation, this book represents the culmination of that search.
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