The Snow Leopard (1978) is one of my favourite books. I’ve just downloaded the audio version to read, once again, when I return to the Himalaya in November. It’s an account of his two-month search for the snow leopard with naturalist George Schaller in the Dolpo region of Tibet.
Although he saw himself primarily as a novelist, Peter Matthiessen, who has died of leukaemia aged 86, became best known for his non-fiction writing, a phenomenon he once described as “being pushed so far into a pigeonhole I now doubt I will ever get out”. Indeed, Matthiessen’s non-fiction earned him an important place among conservationists worldwide. His writing encompassed nature and travel, and its spiritual insights about nature, man, and himself, turned him into a sort of new-age guru. Even the careful craftsmanship of his fiction reflected an approach to writing that echoed the Zen Buddhism he practised. …
The best overview of his life I read on Outside – In the Spirit of Peter Matthiessen