Author(s): Peter Matthiessen
Inspired by a near-mythic event of the wild Florida frontier at the turn of the twentieth century, Shadow Country reimagines the legend of the inspired Everglades sugar planter and notorious outlaw E. J. Watson, who drives himself to his own violent end at the hands of his neighbours. His son Lucius investigates the killing which has come to obsess him. In this bold new rendering of the Watson trilogy Matthiessen has deepened the insights and motivations of his characters, consolidating his fictional masterwork into a poetic, compelling novel of a monumental scope and ambition, with breathtaking accomplishment.
Winner of National Book Awards: Fiction 2008.
'The fiction of Peter Matthiessen is the reason a lot of people in my generation decided to be writers ... Shadow Country lives up to anyone's expectations of great writing' Richard Ford. 'Altogether gripping, shocking, and brilliantly told ... as powerful a reading experience as nearly any in our literature' Michael Dirda, New York Review of Books. 'It's the story of our continent, both land and people, and his writing does every justice to the blood fury of his themes' Don Delillo. 'After seven years of rewriting and reimaging his 'Mister Watson' trilogy, Peter Matthiessen has produced an epic novel of the Florida Everglades, Shadow Country, a book that can be fairly spoken of in the same breath as Moby-Dick and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for both the grandeur of its literary architecture and its command of American vernacular speech' Jonathan Raban, Guardian. 'Shadow Country's size and scope may throw down a challenge, but anyone who takes it up will only be rewarded. If this isn't a great novel, American or otherwise, I don't know what is' Jonathan Gibbs, Independent. 'I read it in great gulps, up later each night than I wanted to be, in my hungry impatience to find out more' Joseph Heller.
Peter Matthiessen - novelist, naturalist and explorer - is the only writer to have won National Book Awards in fiction and non-fiction. As well as the Watson Trilogy, his fiction includes At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Far Tortuga. His non-fiction includes The Snow Leopard (National Book Award winner) and In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. He was one of the founders of the Paris Review and his pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.