1978: The Snow Leopard
Author/Editor: Peter Matthiessen
The Snow Leopard documents author Peter Matthiessen’s trek across the Himalayas to Crystal Mountain in the Dolpo region. His vivid imagery and detailed descriptions have been described as so complete that “you hardly yearn for photographs”, garnering the book such accolades as the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1980. Matthiessen’s pilgrimage to the Buddhist center of the world and his search for the elusive snow leopard can be seen as a metaphor for his inner personal and spiritual journey. Matthiessen, a follower of Buddhism, also explains many tenets and beliefs of his faith interspersed with descriptions of the land.
Matthiessen never did glimpse a snow leopard. Perhaps appropriately, because then his journey would have been complete.