Author Peter Matthiessen has died in New York at the age of 86 from acute myeloid leukemia. Matthiessen, a novelist and naturalist, wrote 33 books; among his best-known works are The Snow Leopard and the novels Far Tortuga and At Play in the Fields of the Lord, which was made into a Hollywood film.
Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 11:31 am
Author Peter Matthiessen, who used fiction and nonfiction to explore how man relates to nature, has died at 86. The revered naturalist and novelist had been suffering from leukemia; he died Saturday afternoon, his publisher confirmed.
In a career that began in the 1950s, Matthiessen connected readers to people and places that were being irrevocably changed by the modern world. And in the process, he often gave them a window into the changes that shaped his own life, as well.
Long before the election of a female president was an actual possibility, I read obsessively about Meg Powers — the witty, moody teenage daughter of Katharine Vaughn Powers, United States president. I was in 9th grade at a tiny, all-girls Orthodox Jewish high school in Memphis, TN, while Meg was leading a very different life on the pages of Ellen Emerson White's The President's Daughter.
The image comes from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fans last year when he he tweeted photos from the International Space Station, along with his refreshingly wide-eyed excitement at being in orbit.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Before Ken Jeong was an actor, he was a doctor.
"Internal medicine was my specialty," he says. "General practice with an emphasis on adult medicine."
After a long day at the office, Jeong says he would take to the stage and perform comedy routines as a way to blow off some steam.
At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.
Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.