R.I.P. Peter Matthiessen

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  04.07.14 | 10:57 AM ET

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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Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.


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