rory nugent

Selected Works

BOOK
A report from the water's edge on the people, ideas and culture zooming toward the vanishing point
A GREAT RIDE ON THE TRAIL OF THE RAREST DUCK IN THE WORLD
JOURNALISM
A VISIT TO HELL ON EARTH: SOUTHERN SUDAN
THE VIEW FROM INSIDE THE WHEELHOUSE CHARTING RADICAL ISLAM'S COURSE LEADING TO 9-11
WRITTEN IN '94, THIS REMAINS THE STANDARD ARTICLE ON THE IRA
Atlantic Magazine
The world's largest, most expensive cruise ship slips into the water as the recession blows a gale
Journalism
A simple meal in a complex place

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Biography

rory nugent IS A WRITER AND AN EXPLORER . HIS WORK TAKES INVENTORY OF THE POORLY LIT SHELVES IN THE COMMUNAL WAREHOUSE, THOSE AREAS OF DEEP SHADOWS CAUSED BY TRADITIONS AND CULTURES GONE MISSING AND ABOUT TO GO MISSING. HIS FINDINGS HAVE APPEARED IN NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, AND IN HIS THREE BOOKS: DOWN AT THE DOCKS (PANTHEON, 2009); DRUMS ALONG THE CONGO (HOUGHTON-MIFFLIN, 1993);and THE SEARCH FOR THE PINK-HEADED DUCK (HOUGHTON-MIFFLIN, 1991).

nugent, 60, WAS BORN IN NEW YORK. AFTER GRADUATING FROM WILLIAMS COLLEGE (BA, 1975), HE WENT TO SEA ABOARD FREIGHTERS AND CANVAS-FLIERS. EARLY ON, IN 1976, HE MADE HIS BONES BY COMPETING IN THE OBSERVER SINGLE-HANDED TRANS-ATLANTIC RACE. HE FINISHED OUT OF THE MONEY, BUT STAYED IN THE GAME AND PUT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES UNDER THE KEEL. HE WENT ON TO LOG 4 1/​2 SOLO OCEAN CROSSINGS, THE FRACTION INCLUDING SHIPWRECK ABOARD HIS RACER GODIVA CHOCOLATES SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRINK. HE WAS RESCUED FIVE DAYS LATER AND 28 POUNDS LIGHTER.

NOT WANTING TO SWIM ANYMORE, nugent TOOK TO FIELD RESEARCH AND MOUNTED ONE MAN EXPEDITIONS IN SEARCH OF REMNANTS OF AN EARLIER ERA, LIKE INDIA'S MISSING JEWEL, THE PINK-HEADED DUCK, AND NESSIE'S AFRICAN COUSIN, MOKELE-MBEMBE. ALONG THE WAY, HE TRAVELED DOWN GREAT RIVERS (BRAHMAPUTRA; NILE--WHITE AND BLUE; UELE/​UBANGI; SOBAT) AND NEGLECTED STREAMS (LIKOULA AUX HERBES, RIO ORO, TESTA, AND PLENTY MORE), THROUGH JUNGLES AND DESERTS, AND INTO A RARELY SEEN WORLD ABOVE THE CLOUDS, IN THE HIMALAYAS. HIS FIRST TWO BOOKS DETAIL SOME OF HIS DISCOVERIES.

IN 1992, nugent SHIFTED GEARS AND BEGAN WORKING FULL-TIME AS A JOURNALIST, HIS BEAT THE NIGHTMARE, HIS QUEST THOSE ELEMENTS ALLOWING IT TO PROSPER. FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS, AS A FREELANCER AND STAFF WRITER FOR SPIN MAGAZINE, HE TRACKED NITWIT GENERALS AND THEIR LOUSY WARS IN EUROPE, AFRICA AND ASIA. HE BECAME INTIMATE WITH BOTH THE PRIESTS AND PROPHETS OF INTOLERANCE, ALONG WITH THE DEMONS THAT RISE OUT OF BULLETS, MACHETES, FAMINE AND KILLING FIELDS THE SIZE OF TEXAS. HIS PHOTOS AND NEWS STORIES MERITED ROUTINE INCLUSION ON SHORT-LISTS FOR ANNUAL JOURNALISM AWARDS, AND SOME REMAIN STANDARDS, LIKE HIS SERIES ON THE CIVIL WAR IN SUDAN, ALONG WITH HIS REPORTS FROM INSIDE THE IRA AND HIS DISPATCHES FROM INSIDE THE WHEELHOUSE TO RADICAL ISLAM AS THE OFFICER CORPS DREW THE MAPS LEADING TO 9/​11.

AFTER AN ASSIGNMENT IN IRAN AND IRAQ, IN 2002, nugent EXITED THE GLOOM AND REFOCUSED ON AMERICA, ASSEMBLING NOTES FOR HIS BOOK DOWN AT THE DOCKS. A NEW BOOK IS UNDERWAY.






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