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Distributed for Haus Publishing

The Ends of the Earth

An author, foreign correspondent, academic, and television personality, Roger Willemsen is a familiar figure in Germany, and The Ends of the Earth offers English-language readers a chance to engage with his uniquely astute take on the world. Consisting of twenty-two essays recounting and reflecting on a lifetime of travel to the far and forgotten corners of our planet, the book offers remarkable encounters and mysterious entanglements in locations as diverse as a Kamchatkan volcano, a Burmese railway station, an Arctic icebreaker, and a Minsk hospital ward. Willemsen is the perfect companion, reveling in the strange and unlovely, and tracing unexpected connections among places, times, and peoples.

480 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2010

Travel and Tourism: Travel Writing and Guides

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“This engrossing collection of travel essays . . . carries the reader to exotic locales while exploring the psychogeographical links that draw them all together. In exploring places considered foreboding by others, Willemsen reminds us of the indomitable human urge to inhabit and understand our environment, however extreme.”

World Literature Today

“Those who prefer an adventurous armchair read to the real thing should look no further than Roger Willemsen’s daring new book. . . . A rewarding read that questions the art of travel and our human existence.”


“Brilliant. . . . We go from Gibraltar to Iceland, from Minsk to Patagonia, to Timbuktu and Bombay, the Kamchatka Peninsula and Mandalay. . . . Every episode is a drama with the traveler as tragic hero.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, on the German edition

Table of Contents

Eifel – Departure
Gibraltar – The Ne Plus Ultra
The Himalayas – In the fog of the Prithvi Highway
Isafjördur – The blind spot
God’s Window – The final curtain
Minsk – The stranger in the bed
Patagonia – The forbidden place
Timbuktu – The Boy Indigo
Bombay – The oracle
Tangkiling – The road to nowhere
Kamchatka – Ashes and magma
Mandalay – A dream of the sea
Lake Fucino – Wasting away
Gorée – The door of no return
Hong Kong – Poste restante
The Amu-Darya – On the frontiers of Transoxania
Toraja – Among the dead
Tonga – Taboo and fate
Kinshasa – Scenes from a war
Chiang Mai – Opium
Orvieto – The fixation
The North Pole - Contemplation

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