African Silences is a powerful and sobering account of the cataclysmic depredation of the African landscape and its wildlife. In this critically acclaimed work Peter Matthiessen explores new terrain on a continent he has written about in two previous books, A Tree Where Man Was Born -- nominated for the National Book Award -- and Sand Rivers.
Through his eyes we see elephants, white rhinos, gorillas, and other endangered creatures of the wild. We share the drama of the journeys themselves, including a hazardous crossing of the continent in a light plane. And along the way, we learn of the human lives oppressed by bankrupt political regimes and economies, and threatened by the slow ecological catastrophe to which they have only begun to awaken.
Peter Matthiessen was born in New York City in 1927 and had already begun his writing career by the time he graduated from Yale University in 1950. The following year, he was a founder of The Paris Review. Besides At Play in the Fields of the Lord, which was nominated for the National Book Award, he has published six other works of fiction, including Far Tortuga and Killing Mister Watson. Mr. Matthiessen's parallel career as a naturalist and explorer has resulted in numerous widely acclaimed books of nonfiction, among them The Tree Where Man Was Born, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and The Snow Leopard, which won it.
"Deeply gripping... with a prose of characteristic grace and perfectly distilled passion." -- Washington Post Book World
"Matthiessen is a great travel companion ..... His knowledge of plants,animals and people is breathtaking." -- Boston Globe