Peter Matthiessen

(b. 1927)

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began his literary career with three short novels, Race Rock (1954), Partisans (1955), and Raditzer (1960), followed by The Cloud Forest (1961), recording his observations of primitive people and wild fauna in the wilderness of South America; Under the Mountain Wall (1963), dealing with his experience of a savage tribe in New Guinea; Oomingmark (1967), concerning an expedition, of which he was a member, to a Bering Sea island, searching for a rare breed of musk ox; Blue Meridian (1971), about another expedition, this one for a great white shark; The Tree Where Man Was Born (1972), dealing with his trips to East Africa; The Snow Leopard (1978, National Book Award), telling of his trek to Tibet in quest of enlightenment; and Sand Rivers (1981), about a safari in Tanzania. His travels through the U.S. to observe the spoliation of Indian lands resulted in Indian Country (1984). Sal si Puedes (1970) is a profile of Cesar Chavez. A novel, At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965), deals with missionaries and other outsiders, who for their own, diverse reasons despoil the culture of an Indian tribe in the Amazon jungle.

Subjects: Literature.

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