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Author, Environmentalist Peter Matthiessen Has Died

NPR icon by The Associated Press
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Ed Betz

Matthiessen, an award-winning author who helped found The Paris Review, has died.

His publisher Geoff Kloske of Riverhead Books said Matthiessen died Saturday after being ill "for some months." He had been diagnosed with leukemia. Matthiesen was 86.

Matthiessen won National Book Awards for The Snow Leopard, his spiritual account of the Himalayas, and for Shadow Country. His new novel, In Paradise, is scheduled for publication Tuesday.

A rich man's son who scorned his privileged childhood, Matthiessen was also a Zen priest, a political activist and a leading environmentalist and wilderness writer. In the early 1950s, he helped George Plimpton found The Paris Review, one of the most influential literary magazines.

Matthiessen emerged as a major novelist in 1961 with At Play in the Fields of the Lord.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. To see more, visit http://www.ap.org/.

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