African Silences by Peter Matthiessen

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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.

About Peter Matthiessen

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Peter Matthiessen has written eight novels, including At Play in the Fields of the Lord (nominated for the National Book Award) and Far Tortuga, and also a book of short stories, On the River Styx. His parallel career as a naturalist and environmental activist has produced numerous acclaimed works of nonfiction, most of them serialized in The New Yorker; these include The Tree Where Man Was Born (another National Book Award nominee) and The Snow Leopard (a National Book Award winner). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1974.From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 25, 2012 by Vintage. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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A journey through Equatorial Africa to study the fate of elephants and other wildlife produces a somber chronicle of irrevocable loss, relieved only by noted naturalist and novelist Matthiessen's lucid prose and concluding intimations of some redress.

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Publishers Weekly

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The object of the later trip, on which he was joined by David Western of the New York Zoological Society, was to survey the Congo Basin--Central African Republic, Gabon, Zaire--for signs of the small forest elephant and perhaps solve the mystery of the so-called pygmy elephant (they prove to be s...

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Publishers Weekly

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A superb vicarious experience of Africa that provides a dazzling, if dismaying, report on the state of the environment.

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