Travel Blog: R.I.P.

R.I.P. Peter Matthiessen

Prolific writer and three-time National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen died Saturday at age 86. Matthiessen was a former CIA agent, one of the founders of The Paris Review, and the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books.

He’s best known in travel writing circles for his 1978 travelogue, “The Snow Leopard.” In 2010 we listed it as one of our 100 most celebrated travel books of all time.

Rolf Potts celebrated The Snow Leopard on World Hum in 2006, writing that the book offers “a gentle reminder that life consists of what each moment brings us; that it’s futile to obsess on the workings of the past and future if you’re missing out on experience of the present moment.”

The New York Times notes that Matthiessen was “one of the last survivors of a generation of American writers who came of age after World War II and who all seemed to know one another, socializing in New York and on Long Island’s East End as a kind of movable literary salon peopled by the likes of William Styron, James Jones, Kurt Vonnegut and E. L. Doctorow.”

His final novel, “In Paradise,” is due out tomorrow.

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R.I.P. Roger Ebert

The film critic with the famous thumbs died last week at age 70. He was a TV host, author, and—later in his life—a prolific blogger and Twitter user. He was also, as Meg Nesterov points out over at Gadling, an occasional travel writer. Here’s her roundup of his best travel-focused work.

Esquire has made its 2010 profile of Roger Ebert freely available online. It’s worth your time.

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R.I.P. Peter Root and Mary Thompson, RTW Bloggers

Very sad news from Thailand, where round-the-world cycle-tourists and bloggers Peter Root and Mary Thompson, of Two on Four Wheels, have been killed in a road accident. The couple, both 34, had been cycling since mid-2011, and had successfully crossed Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China before arriving in Southeast Asia. They were hit by a pickup truck east of Bangkok last Wednesday.

“What helps me is to think of how happy they were with each other,” Root’s father, Jerry, told the AP. “They were leading the life they wanted to. It was the happiest, the most fruitful of lives.”

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Travel Song of the Day: ‘Maps’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs


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