Peter Matthiessen Wheelwright
is a writer and, in earlier lives, a practicing architect and educator. He is Emeritus Professor at The New School, Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he taught and wrote on matters of environmental philosophy, design theory, and social practices in the built and natural worlds.
As It Is On Earth, his first work of fiction, received a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence.
His most recent novel, The Door-Man, will be published February 1, 2022. (Fomite Press)
Peter comes from a family of writers with an abiding interest in the natural world. His uncle Peter Matthiessen was a three time National Book Award winner, and his brother Jeff Wheelwright is a writer of environmental non-fiction. Educated at Trinity College where he studied painting and sculpture, he went on to receive his Master in Architecture from Princeton University. As an architect, his design work has been widely published in both the national and international press. The Kaleidoscope House, a modernist dollhouse designed in collaboration with artist Laurie Simmons is in the Collection of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. To learn more about Peter Wheelwright’s work as an architect, click on “The Architecture’ link above… or visit PMWArchitects.
…And be sure to visit Ruminations…where blocked writers, bored philosophers, and deep thinkers go for sport
The PEN/Hemingway Ceremony
(at the J. F. Kennedy Center
with fellow HM Awardee
Catherine Chung, Forgotten Country)
“There is no lack of ambition or artistry in Peter Wheelwright’s As It Is On Earth, a complex tapestry of the collisions between civilization and nature, and science and religion, among other minor topics. But its heart is “the family thing”, and the pleasure of this book is watching Wheelwright’s sensitive and skeptical protagonist unravel decades of secrets and lies. A remarkable debut.”
– Helen Schulman, Come with Me and This Beautiful Life
“As It Is On Earth is a spiritual coming of age story of New England bred brothers who have been shaped by secrets, grievances and betrayals. Yet, far from being a simple chronicle of family dysfunction, Wheelwright’s richly layered tale can be read as a contemporary rendering of the Cain and Abel story and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.”
– Wesley Brown, Tragic Magic and Darktown Strutters
Feb. 1, 2022
“A suspenseful reflection on identity and memory, with their unsparing strangeness and dreamlike fragility, The Door-Man intimates that while time does not heal all, it does elicit forgiveness. Wheelwright reminds us that, like memory itself, life does not progress steadily without opposition, but occurs in unexpected leaps and bounds, seemingly random and always incomplete. A complex and thoughtful book.”
– Susanna Moore, In the Cut and Miss Aluminum-A Memoir
“Wheelwright conjures another time and world, a once-here historical intrigue as poignant as memory. Filled with insight, deft detail, wry wit, The Door-Man is exactly the novelistic embrace we need in our agitated bewilderment.”
– John Reed, Snowball’s Chance