Author and environmentalist Peter Matthiessen is dead at 86

BY newsdesk  April 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM EST

Award-winning author Peter Matthiessen died at his home on in Sagaponack, N.Y. of leukemia on Saturday. He was 86. Matthiessen was known as a novelist and non-fiction writer as well as for his work as an environmental activist and American Indian rights advocate.

Mr. Matthiessen’s final novel, “In Paradise,” is to be published on Tuesday by Riverhead Books. He was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, talking about the book that “was likely to be his last.” And, Sunday’s New York Times Magazine features a profile of the dying author, “Peter Matthiessen’s Homecoming.”

NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown had a long conversation with Matthiessen in 2008 about his National Book Award winner, “Shadow Country.” The book told the story of a man named Edgar Watson was shot and killed in 1910 by a group of his neighbors on Florida’s southwest coast. He’d been a leading pioneer in the Everglades, a successful businessman, and almost certainly a murderer.