A reworking of the author's trilogy chronicles the legacy of E.J. Watson, a notorious desperado gunned down by his neighbors along the lawless nineteenth-century frontier of the Florida Everglades.
For over 20 years, Peter Matthiessen (THE SNOW LEOPARD) toiled on his late-career masterpiece, the trilogy of novels recounting the legendary, notorious, glorious, and nasty life of Florida outlaw, murderer, and sugar cane plantation owner Edgar J. Watson. The books--KILLING MISTER WATSON, LOST MAN'S RIVER, and BONE BY BONE--serve as an epic and brilliant investigation of the lawlessness, ambition, ecological plunder, and the racial tensions of Florida's--and American--history. But Matthiessen wasn't done: in 2008 he published SHADOW COUNTRY, a painstakingly edited and refined version of the trilogy, now fused into a single 900 page tome. The first "book" in SHADOW COUNTRY uses a dozen narrators to relate the arc of Watson's life, from celebrated outlaw, to loathed murderer, to his own bloody demise at the hands of a crowd. In its blend of fact, fiction, myth, and surmise, the section explores the nature of reality with the same lush multiplicity of Faulkner's ABSALOM, ABSALOM In the second "book," two of Watson's sons strive to understand their father's dark legacy. Finally, in the last "book" Watson himself addresses his own life, and many of the mysteries of his youth become revealed. A remarkable work of American fiction and the apotheosis of a lauded literary career, SHADOW COUNTRY won the National Book Award in 2008.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Conflicts + Dualities, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Literary, Types of Characters, Legal + Courtroom + Crime
- Modern Library
- April 8, 2008
- April 8, 2008
- Peter Matthiessen