News updates on Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and best-selling author Paul Watson's various conversations and projects, including his books and collaborations with award-winning playwright, poet and librettist Dan O'Brien.  

Stunning Images of The Terror Hint That Answers to the Franklin Mystery Are Coming

BC Book Prizes Names ICE GHOSTS a Finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Award:

"a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting"


The paperback edition of ICE GHOSTS launched January 9, 2018 by W. W. Norton in the U.S.

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Canada's national broadcaster, the CBC, Recommends ICE GHOSTS in its 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Science Lovers

the Guardian newspaper names ICE GHOSTS one of The Best Science Books of 2017

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Click here to read Robin McKie's Best Science Books of 2017

ICE GHOSTS press Release for U.S. edition 

For Immediate Release                                                        CONTACT: Kyle Radler

Senior Publicist




The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition

by Paul Watson

winner of the Pulitzer Prize


“Engaging. . . . A keen, entertaining chronicle of the various attempts to locate a sensationally doomed expedition.”

Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)


“Watson’s meticulously researched tale finely weaves together the many voices and experiences of those who sought Franklin’s long-missing ships.”

Publishers Weekly


“Riveting. . . . An engrossing chronicle of a legendary doomed naval voyage and the nearly 200-year effort to bring the Franklin Expedition to a close.”



For nearly 170 years, the mystery of the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin has been the greatest cold case in the history of Arctic exploration. In 1845, Franklin and the crews of the HMS Erebus and Terror set out to discover a path to the Orient through the icy waters of the far northern latitudes. They were never heard from again. From 1847 to 1859, no fewer than thirty-six expeditions set out in search of the vessels. Each effort was met with icy silence. The fate of Franklin and his men remained shrouded in mystery until, in missions that blended new technology and faith in traditional Inuit beliefs, the ships were at last discovered—the Erebus in 2014 and the Terror just last year.

In ICE GHOSTS: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition [W. W. Norton & Company, March 21, 2017, $27.95 hardcover], Pulitzer Prize–winning author Paul Watson takes readers on an unforgettable journey into the unforgiving North in search of the vanished Franklin and his crew of 128 lost souls. Watson was on the icebreaker leading the mission that discovered the Erebus in 2014, and he broke the news of the discovery of the Terror in September. ICE GHOSTS masterfully weaves together history and contemporary reporting in a full account of these events, which, as Watson reveals, only found success when longtime prejudice against Inuit forms of knowledge was set aside. Watson chronicles how local Inuit contributed to the hunt for the ships and how Inuit lore passed down orally for generations was crucial to making discoveries for the ages.

Watson is no newcomer to tales of courage. He has reported from some of the most dangerous war zones in the world, living among guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan, Angola, Eritrea, Somalia, and elsewhere. Watson was also the Arctic correspondent for the Toronto Star for several years and has covered the changing geopolitics of the region and the race to exploit new waterways forming due to climate change, including in a visit to Russia’s north for a series of stories on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic push.

A riveting mystery story as well as a tale of scientific innovation and relentless pursuit, ICE GHOSTS is that rare book that seamlessly marries gripping adventure narrative with intrepid analysis. It is an epic adventure readers will carry with them long after the final page is turned.


About the Author


Paul Watson worked as a war reporter for more than twenty years, covering conflicts on several continents, including wars in Angola, the Balkans, Eritrea, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of a Somali mob dragging the corpse of an American soldier through the streets of Mogadishu in 1993.

Watson is the recipient of the George Polk Award, the National Headliner Award, the Hal Boyle Award from the Overseas Press Club of America, and the Robert Capa Gold Medal. He served as Asia bureau chief and Balkans bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and covered the Arctic for the Toronto Star.

Watson is the author of the best-selling Where War Lives, a personal account of his years as a war reporter, and of Magnum Revolution: 65 Years of Fighting for Freedom, which showcases the legendary photography agency’s work over almost seven decades.

Watson is the subject of the opera The War Reporter, which was staged to critical acclaim in New York in 2014, and his collaboration with American librettist, poet, and playwright Dan O’Brien produced the play Body of an American, which was staged off-Broadway in 2016 and won the PEN Award for Drama, the Horton Foote Prize, and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.

Watson holds an MA in international affairs from Columbia University. He lives in Vancouver.


Meet Paul Watson


March 21 * Dallas, TX * Dallas Museum of Art

March 23 * Greenwood, MS * Turnrow Books

March 24 * Oxford, MS * Square Books

March 25 * Jackson, MS * Lemuria Books

March 27 * New York, NY * Explorers Club

March 28 * Hudson, OH * Hudson Library & Historical Society

March 30 * Portland, OR * Powell’s Bookstore

March 31 * Seattle, WA * Town Hall Seattle


TITLE: ICE GHOSTS: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition

AUTHOR: Paul Watson

ISBN: 978-0-393-24938-5

PUBLICATION DATE: March 21, 2017

PRICE: $27.95 hardcover

PAGES: 384


The story Paul had to quit the Toronto Star to publish wins National Magazine Award (Investigative Reporting) and Digital Publishing award (Best on-line only long feature)

National Magazine Awards nominate Paul in the Investigative Category, another high honor for a story the Toronto Star tried to kill, but buzzFeed Canada saved

National Magazine Award Nominees 2016

Paul and dan have a moving conversation with brooke gladstone, co-host of NPR's "on the media"  

On the Media Link (Scroll down to March 16)

Canadian Association of Journalists honors the story the toronto star tried to kill, but BuzzFeed saved, with an award nomination

CAJ Award Finalists 2016

My interview with CBC The 180's Jim Brown on Why Old Media Death Needn't Be so Bad

CBC Radio link

New York Times: ‘The Body of an American’ Visits Battle Zones of the Field and the Heart

New York Times link

Hartford Courant Review: 'Body of American' at Hartford Stage has Heart, Soul

Hartford Courant link

My Interview with CBC Radio's Rick Cluff 

CBC Radio link

'The Most Famous Journalist You've Never Heard Of' 

That's how the venerable Columbia Journalism Review, published by my alma mater, sees me. And I like it. I've always preferred to fly under the radar. Safer that way. Please enjoy the full interview here.

Paul Has a Revealing Chat with Jesse Brown

Jesse Brown, host of the ground-breaking and very popular podcast at www.canadalandshow, spoke with Paul to pull back the curtain some more on Canada's troubled media industry--and Paul himself.

Hartford Stage to Produce "The Body of An American" in January 

In January the Hartford Stage theater will present the award-winning "The Body of an American," by Dan O'Brien, a co-production with off-Broadway's Primary Stages.

The play centers on O'Brien's friendship with war photographer Paul Watson who in 1993 took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a dead American soldier dragged through Mogadishu's streets. The play has previously been produced at Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre and Portland (Ore.) Center Stage.

"It's a great play with a unique structure," says Tresnjak. "It's going to further stretch our audience," says Tresnjak, "but I am heartened from the response of people after 'Reverberation' of how smart and eager for new work our subscribers are. Most of the season will be made up of new or recent work."

From the Hartford Courant


New York's Primary Stages Announces Premier of "The Body of an American"

February-March 2016
at The Duke on 42nd Street

New York premiere by Dan O'Brien
Winner of the 2014 Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play and the Inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Award (shared with All The Way). The Body of an American tells the true story of an extraordinary friendship as two men, a war photojournalist and playwright, journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul. Winning rave reviews for its previous productions in London and elsewhere, The Body of an American by Dan O'Brien is "a play that tightens its grip as it probes where war lives, and discovers we each carry it inside ourselves." (The Guardian)