Synopses & Reviews
“You dont have to be a ‘craniac . . . to appreciate [this book] . . . All you really need is a passion for prose as good as it gets.” —Chicago Tribune
In legend, cranes often figure as harbingers of heaven and omens of longevity and good fortune. And in nature, they are an “umbrella species” whose well-being assures that of the ecosystem at large. The Birds of Heaven chronicles Peter Matthiessens many journeys on five continents in search of the fifteen species of cranes. His telling captures the dilemmas of a planet in ecological crisis, and the deep loss to humankind if these beautiful and imposing creatures are allowed to disappear.
“A gorgeous, plangent work: a cri de coeur for the cranes protection and a testament to Matthiessens enduring high caliber as writer and world traveler . . . [He] projects an undiminished passion for the specific creature, the distinct landscape, the cultural oddity, the startling word. In The Birds of Heaven
, he conveys that feeling through serendipitous prose as elegant as the stately birds that inspire him.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Matthiessens] body of work in the last four decades is among the most impressive by any living American writer . . . As always, he has an impeccable eye . . . an informed understanding of the broad cultural, historical, and political context of the places and people he encounters, and an extraordinary talent for serendipitous adventure.” —Los Angeles Times
In legend, cranes often figure as harbingers of heaven and omens of longevity and good fortune. "The Birds of Heaven" chronicles the author's many journeys on five continents in search of the 15 species of cranes. of color plates & maps. 12 illustrations.
About the Author
Peter Matthiessen is a writer, naturalist, environmental activist, and wilderness traveler whose many works of nonfiction include The Snow Leopard, and whose most recent novel is Bone by Bone, which concludes his powerful Watson trilogy.