Books by Peter Heller
NPR stories about Peter Heller
In softcover fiction, Hilary Mantel imagines Anne Boleyn's downfall, Martin Amis satirizes England, Paul Theroux sends a narrator back to the village he volunteered in, and Peter Heller depicts a post-apocalyptic life. In nonfiction, Robert Caro continues his LBJ biography.
In Peter Heller's debut novel, The Dog Stars, a man named Hig survives a superflu that kills most of humanity. Heller, a travel and adventure writer, says that when his novel took a post-apocalyptic turn, he found himself relying on his real-life scrapes and survival skills.
Peter Heller's novel follows protagonist Hig and his dog in a world ravaged by an epidemic and overrun with barbaric thugs. But its fragmented, poetic narrative — complete with a somewhat unconvincing love story — goes a long way toward dealing with the devastation.
Set in the Rocky Mountains after an epidemic has killed off most of society, The Dog Stars, by adventure writer Peter Heller, casts an unusual mood as it alternates between elegiac reflection, lyrical nature writing and intense, high-caliber action. The Dog Stars will be published on Aug. 7.
After sailing the Antarctic Sea and traversing the deepest Tibetan gorge, Peter Heller became a "kook," or beginner surfer. It was while surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. that he caught a glimpse of his next great adventure: a trip down the West Coast, in search of the perfect wave. In Kook he tells the story of that journey, and what he learned along the way.
In February 2002, journalist Peter Heller accompanied seven extreme kayakers on an attempt to paddle down the Tsangpo river gorge in Tibet. He talks with NPR's Scott Simon about the experience and his book, Hell or High Water.