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  • W&N

Impossible Owls: Essays from the Ends of the World

Brian Phillips

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Literary essays, Reportage & collected journalism, Travel writing

A vibrant, surprising and thought-provoking collection of long-form non-fiction writing from an exciting new literary voice

In Impossible Owls, we follow Brian Phillips on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, which provides the opportunity for him to write with wit and insight about the incredible race itself, but also about adventure, freedom and journeys to the end of the map. He takes us into the heart of contemporary sumo wrestling, but we also learn about Japan, past and present, as well as his thoughts on depression and ritual suicide. There are pieces on Route 66 and alien abduction, a genius Russian animator, small-town America and The X-files, Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Cambridge, the father of conservation in India and man-eating tigers, and a moving essay that melds memoir and an unconventional love story.

Phillips brings a unique voice to his subjects, providing a fresh perspective on the world around us. There is humour and pathos and wonderful observation in this eclectic collection, which showcases the incredible talent, curiosity and wide-ranging interests of one of the foremost exponents of the New Journalism working today.

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