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The Art of Patience

Seeking the Snow Leopard in Tibet

Sylvain Tesson Frank Wynne



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One World
02 July 2021
The Art of Patience sees the renowned French adventurer and writer Sylvain Tesson undertake an expedition to the mountains of Tibet in search of the famously elusive snow leopard.

After the publication of The Consolations of the Forest (2014), Sylvain Tesson had a devastating climbing accident that broke far too many bones in his body. A year later, determined to walk himself back to health, he set off on the backroads of France from the Piedmont to Brittany. Then in 2018, in the footsteps of the admired American writer Peter Matthiessen, he undertook a far more ambitious, far more testing journey: to learn the art of patience, waiting for the snow leopard to appear - no small challenge for a man who all his life has sought to beat time by outrunning it.

In the company of leading wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and two companions, Tesson headed up to the high plateaux of remotest Tibet. There, at 5,000 metres and in temperatures of -25C, 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, a meditation on what happens when time slows right down, an acceptance of the ruthlessness of the natural world and, finally, a plea for ecological sanity. It is also a small masterpiece.
By:   Sylvain Tesson
Translated by:   Frank Wynne
Imprint:   One World
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 225mm,  Width: 146mm,  Spine: 17mm
ISBN:   9781786079992
ISBN 10:   1786079992
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   02 July 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sylvain Tesson is one France's leading travel and nature writers, whose books have won him hundreds and thousands of readers in France and a number of its top prizes, including the 2019 Prix Renaudot for The Art of Patience. His highly regarded Consolations of the Forest was published in English in 2014. Frank Wynne is an Irish literary translator whose translations, including works by Michel Houllebecq, Frederic Beigbeder and Pierre Lemaitre, have won him a number of prizes. His translation of Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex 1 was shortlisted for the 2018 Booker International Prize.

Reviews for The Art of Patience: Seeking the Snow Leopard in Tibet

'A wonderful evocation of waiting and watching for nature.' -- Tim Birkhead, author of <i>Bird Sense</i> 'Beautifully written, beautifully translated, intensely moving and totally absorbing.' -- Stanley Johnson, author of <i>Where the Wild Things Were</i> 'The Art of Patience is extraordinarily beautiful, a narrative of prose that flows with poetry, a long last loving glance at the planet, a visit to the vital bedside of a living world determined to stay alive.' -- Carl Safina, author of <i>Becoming Wild: How Animals Learn to be Animals</i> 'I found it hard to resist... there is so much more to this elegantly written book than the story of a search. It is also a philosophical consideration of the benefits of silence, waiting and personal reflection; an ode to the psychological effect of natural beauty; and a poetic eulogy to the planet.' -- <i>Big Issue</i> '[One of] the best books of the year.' * <i>Financial Times</i> on <i>Consolations of the Forest</i> * 'I thought I'd rip through this book. But it's not something you want to read fast. Tesson, who I came to like more and more, is trying to rearrange his relationship with time. Being alone, miles from anywhere, encourages him to sit still and watch things.' * <i>Spectator</i> on <i>Consolations of the Forest</i> * 'He comes across as the brainiest, daftest, sternest, funniest, most companionable hermit you'll ever meet.' * <i>Guardian</i> on <i>Consolations of the Forest</i> *

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