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Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul felicitated renowned author Stephen Alter and described him as a true 'Uttarakhandi' at heart, who was eternally in love with the Himalayas. Felicitating the writer at the Raj Bhawan last evening, he said though an American citizen, the author was actually "a true Uttarakhandi", whose deep love for the mountains and his understanding of the human spirit made his works special. Alter who has 18 books to his credit, including biographies, short stories and travelogues, completed his schooling from Woodstock in Mussoorie, and has now made the hill town his permanent home. Handing the author a memento, the Governor specially mentioned Alter's 'All the Way to Heaven' and 'In the Jungles of the Night: A Novel about Jim Corbett' and termed them outstanding works. Speaking on the occasion, Alter, who lives in Landour (Mussoorie), said the Himalayas had great influence on him as writer. "I look upon the Himalayas as the greatest university on earth, which has been teaching researchers, explorers, writers and scholars.
There is no end to the wonders and glory of these mountains," he said He said he had trekked these mountains extensively when he was a student in Mussoorie. "Later, I also fictionalised Mussoorie in some of my short stories. When I wrote about the Himalayas while I was away from them, I wrote about them more emotionally," he said. The author said he was working on a biography of the Himalayas, which would coveraspects like geology, history, wildlife, forests, human settlements and migration. He said while working on this project, he discovered that Dehradun figured primarily in the story of the Himalayas. Stephen's brother Tom Alter is a well known Indian actor and also lives in Mussoorie.
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