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The Ends of the Earth

Venturing, as the title promises, far and wide, and recording his impressions in twenty-two essays, the celebrated writer Roger Willemsen journeys deep into unfamiliar geographical territory, probing the lives of those that live on the earth’s fringes. The result is far removed from the superficial charm of the traditional travelogue: as the author admits, more often than not his quest is driven by ‘a predilection for unlovely things’.

A series of remarkable encounters and mysterious entanglements combine to create an opinionated psychogeography that is by turns profoundly poignant and wryly humorous. Willemsen writes of his visits to locations as diverse and distant from one another as a volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a railway station in Burma, an icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean, and a hospital ward in Minsk.

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