During the 1970s and 1980s, Peter Matthiessen took part in a number of expeditions to Africa, witnessing first-hand the continent’s many and diverse peoples and wildlife. The fruits of these journeys are three of the most impressive essays on the natural world of the late twentieth century.
The Tree where Man Was Born documents wild landscapes, peoples and animals, observed in a series of journeys in East Africa, from the Sudan, south through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, exploring the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara, the Ngorongoro crater and the archaeological sites of the Rift Valley.
African Silences recounts two expeditions made to West and Central Africa, including Zaire (as it then was), Gabon and the Central African Republic.
Sand Rivers describes the Selous game reserve in Southern Tanzania, one of the largest, but least-known refuges for animals left on earth, and provides an unforgettable portrait of this area and the fierce, lonely men who created it.
These three classic works represent Matthiessen the naturalist at his finest; written an all-encompassing curiosity and knowledge that brings alive the people, places and wildlife he encounters, and updated with a new introduction by the author.
A profoundly moving portrait of the region... Even now, years after I first read it, The Tree Where Man was Born seems imbued with precious vision
The skilled naturalist writer is almost as rare as the Congo peacock or the pygmy elephant - both subjects of the quest Peter Matthiessen conducts in African Silences. 'Skilled' is almost an insulting understatement for Matthiessen's sharply captivating prose
The Tree Where Man Was Born is a truly magnificent book that will be just as important 50 years from now