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In 1917, during reservoir construction in the Catskill hamlet of Gilboa, a young paleontologist, Miss Winifred Goldring, identified fossils from an ancient forest flooded 350-400 million years ago -- when the earth's botanical explosion of oxygen opened new paths towards human evolution. 

Since the reservoir water was needed for NYC, the fossils were flooded again, along with the doomed town.


A mix of fact and fiction, The Door-Man follows three generations of families who share a deep wound from Gilboa's last days. The story is told by Winifred's grandson, a disaffected NYC doorman working near the Central Park Reservoir during its decommissioning in 1993.


The brief and provisional nature of life on earth, as well as the nested histories of the places, people and events that give it meaning, engender a reckoning within the tangled roots and fragile bonds of family."

About the Author

Peter Matthiessen Wheelwright is a former architect and current Emeritus Professor at The New School (Parsons School of Design) in New York City. 

As It Is On Earth, his first novel, received a 2013 PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence in Debut Fiction.

He comes from a family of writers with an abiding interest in the natural world. His uncle is three time National Book Award winner, Peter Matthiessen, and his brother, Jeff Wheelwright, is an earth-science journalist and author