Philip Garrison
Selected by Robert Atwan

Journeys across landscapes and borders—material and ethereal


“These often profound essays . . . transform a physical landscape into a mindscape of odd discoveries, haunting juxtapositions, and shifting perceptual boundaries. . . . Garrison is in perfect control of his medium.”
Publishers Weekly

“At its best, as it is here, [the essay] is a kind of ruminative thinking on the page or writing as the reader watches, something akin to Georges Simenon’s feat of writing a novel in a Paris bookstore window.”
Chicago Tribune

“Garrison’s thought and language are musical and flowing; he creates connections between sagebrush and Halicarnassus.”
Library Journal

“The best of these essays . . . offer the rewards of superb short fiction—a juxtaposition of emotional and personal significance with strongly evoked settings.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Singular observations on a number of topics . . . like John McPhee’s resonant explorations, or Russell Baker’s eloquent remembrances, Philip Garrison’s essays in Augury stand out as luminous exemplars of the form.”
San Diego Union

“His essays reveal that our searches can be as interesting as our discoveries.”
Rocky Mountain News

“These are essays in the best tradition of American reflection.”
—Robert Atwan

Augury is proof that the pleasures of reading the essay derive from and deepen the pleasures of reading the world.”
—Scott Russell Sanders

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Set primarily in Mexico and the American Northwest, yet equally at home with Achilleus on the Trojan plains or with Walt Whitman in his New Jersey home, these fifteen essays pass back and forth across international boundaries as easily as they cross the more fluid lines separating past and present. Part biography, part history, Augury is also something of a writer’s journal, a guide to Philip Garrison’s imaginative journeys.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction

Page count: 176
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $18.95

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Philip Garrison’s books include Waiting for the Earth to Turn Over: Identity and the Late Twentieth-Century American West, The Permit That Never Expires: Migrant Tales from the Ozark Hills and the Mexican Highlands, and Because I Don’t Have Wings: Stories of Mexican Immigrant Life. A professor of English emeritus at Central Washington University, Garrison currently directs the APOYO food and clothing bank, which he founded in 1995, with several members of the Mexicano community.