Easton Press. Norwalk, CT. 2004. 373 pages. SIGNED BY AUTHOR. Signed Limited Edition. A luxurious leather bound masterpiece from the Signed Modern Classics collection by Easton Press. This title was nominated for the 1965 National Book Award. This novel was the basis for the 1991 Hollywood film starring Tom Berenger.
In a malarial outpost in the South American rain forest, two misplaced gringos converge and clash. Martin Quarrier has come to convert the fearful and elusive Niaruna Indians to his brand of Christianity. Lewis Moon, a stateless mercenary who is himself part Indian, has come to kill them on behalf of the local commandant. Out of their struggle Peter Matthiessen has created an electrifying moral thriller, a novel of Conradian richness that explores both the varieties of spiritual experience and the politics of cultural genocide.
Matthiessen received the National Book Award for Fiction in November 2008, at age 81, for Shadow Country, an 890-page revision of three novels set in frontier Florida that were published in the 1990s. For The Snow Leopard he won the 1979 Award in category Contemporary Thought and the 1980 Award in category Nonfiction (paperback).