- 149,00 kr
Winner of the Prix Renaudot 2019
‘Extraordinarily beautiful… a long last loving glance at the planet.’ Carl Safina, author of Becoming Wild
The Art of Patience sees the renowned French adventurer and writer set off for the high plateaux of remotest Tibet in search of the elusive snow leopard. There, in the company of leading wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and two companions, at 5,000 metres and in temperatures of -25ºC, the team set up their hides on exposed mountainsides, and occasionally in the luxury of an icy cave, to await a visitation from the almost mythical beast.
This tightly focused and tautly written narrative is simultaneously a dazzling account of an exacting journey, an apprenticeship in the art of patience, an acceptance of the ruthlessness of the natural world and, finally, a plea for ecological sanity.
A small masterpiece, it is one of those books that demands to be read again and again.
Travel writer Tesson (The Consolations of the Forest) follows the elusive snow leopard through cliffs and mountains in this lyrical survey. As Tesson and his fellow travelers quietly wait to catch a glimpse of the creature in the mountains of Tibet, Tesson muses on nature, wildlife, movement, and eventually humankind (on his travel companions: "I was beginning to understand that in the contemplation of animals one is confronted with an inverted image of oneself"). The narrative builds slowly it is, after all, mostly about waiting though the lyricism helps pass the time while waiting for the leopard to show up. Occasionally, the author's aphorisms strike as melodramatic, as when he asserts while watching a wolf hunt antelopes, "Life seemed to me to be an unending series of attacks, and the landscape, apparently unchanging, a backdrop to murders perpetrated at every level of biology." And when the leopard finally appears, it's a "religious apparition." Nevertheless, the promise of seeing the rare creature in the wild may be a strong enough hook for some. Patient nature-minded readers should check this out.